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topic 19816

Things I can electroplate

A discussion started in 2003 & continuing through 2017


Q. Hi,

I am a 15 year old teenage trying to understand electroplating. I am doing a science fair project on it. I will be electroplating a brass key from a copper bar. I was wondering if anyone could help me expand on my experiment. I was looking for some ideas, of different things I can Electroplate other then coins and keys, something interesting.

Please help me.

student - Canada


A. Coins and keys are cool experiments for your purpose and I admire you wanting to try other ideas. I have a few to suggest... spoons, forks and knives, safety pins, or even some of your farther's tools like, screw driver shafts (handles excluded), sockets, and such. Possibly even if you have any metal switch plate covers for the light switches around home. Some of these are great keepsakes too.

Good luck to you and have fun. :-)

Matt Attack
- Brantford, Ontario, Canada

What are some things that are electroplated?

July 7, 2017

Q. Hi,
I am an 14 year teenage student. I am currently interested in electroplating. I have a science project in which I have to tell or show any five electroplated things with the names of metal which are electroplated. Can you please help me.

Give me answer as soon as possible.

Guneet Kaur
- India, Asia

July 2017

A. Hi Guneet. Things are electroplated when it is advantageous to have a surface or skin on a material which is different than the underlying bulk of the material.

For example, steel is very strong but it is also very prone to rusting, so fasteners (screws, nuts, bolts, washers) are usually made of steel and then zinc plated. Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, but the surface will tarnish and interfere with the electrical connection, so the charging contacts on devices like cordless phones, and DC charging adaptors are usually nickel plated. Nickel tarnishes much less problematically than copper, but it still tarnishes, so very small or very low voltage contact surfaces like the pins on smart phone chargers are gold plated for no tarnish. Automobile grills are made of plastic, but many if not most are chrome plated for nice shiny appearance. Silver jewelry is nice, but very liable to tarnish to a black color, so it is often rhodium plated to preserve its bright look.

Good luck!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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