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Difference between electroplating and anodizing?


What is the difference between electroplating and anodizing?

Rich Braun
- San Diego, California


Electroplating involves using electricity to reduce a metal salt out from solution and deposit it in metallic form onto a surface, Rich. Usually the metal which is being plated is different than the metal of the substrate.

Anodizing is an electricity-driven engineered oxidation or 'rusting' (although the word 'rusting' really should only be used with reference to ferrous metals). By causing certain metals to oxidize in controlled fashion (usually aluminum, magnesium, or titanium), it is possible to cover their surface with a tightly adherent oxide to prevent further corrosion.

The origin of the confusion may be that the processes are done in tanks in a very similar fashion, often by the same shop, and from a distance they look like very similar operations.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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