An electrodeposition is referred to as an electrolytic process of depositing a metal at the cathode from a solution of its electrons. In simpler terms, Electrodeposition is an electrolytic procedure in which one metal is deposited over another metal or nonmetal.
Electrodeposition is commonly used in decorative, protective, and useful applications. The electrodeposition process involves:
- Electroplating: Electroplating is the procedure of depositing metal on any metallic or non-metallic surface in order to protect it from corrosion.
- Electro metallization: Electro metallization is the process of depositing a metal on a conducting base for decorative or protective reasons.
- Electro typing: It is a procedure used to reproduce printing, set up typing and medals, and so on.
- Electro forming: Electro forming is a process that uses electrodeposition to reproduce objects in order to improve their durability.
- Electro Facing: The procedure of coating metallic surfaces with a harder metal by electrodeposition in order to improve their durability is known as electrofacing.
What are the factors affecting the Quality of Electrodeposition?
The variables that influence electrodeposition quality are discussed further below.
- Nature of Electrolyte: The nature of the electrolyte used in the electrodeposition procedure has a significant impact on the creation of a smooth deposit. The electrolyte from which complex ions can be derived can be used to provide a smooth deposit.
- Current Density: The pace of crystal growth and the formation of new nuclei determines the rate of electrodeposition. As a result, if the current density is used at a rate faster than the nuclei form, the metal deposit will be consistent and fine-grained. If the rate of nuclei creation is very high due to very high current density, the deposition will be strong and porous.
- Conductivity: The electrolytic solution with high conductivity saves energy and reduces the propensity to form trees and rough deposits.
- Temperature Solution: The formation of small crystals of metal occurs at low temperatures of the electrolytic solution, whereas big crystals form at high temperatures.
- Electrolytic Concentration: Higher current density comes from increased electrolyte concentration. A uniform and fine-grain deposit can thus be produced by increasing the electrolytic concentration.
- Polarization: As we know, the rate of metal deposition grows with increasing current density up to a certain point, after which the electrolyte surrounding the base metal becomes so depleted of metal ions that further increasing current density has no effect on the rate of deposition. Excessive current density causes electrolysis of water and the release of hydrogen on the cathode. This released hydrogen on the cathode blankets the base metal, slowing metal deposition. This is referred to as polarization.
- Addition of Agents: The addition of acids or other compounds to the electrolyte reduces the electrolytic solution’s resistance. Furthermore, additional agents such as gums, dextrose, and so on impact the nature of the deposit. The crystal nuclei absorb the extra agents introduced to the electrolyte. This inhibits rapid growth, resulting in fine-grained deposition.
- Throwing Power: The ability of an electrolyte to create a uniform deposit on an irregularly shaped article is referred to as throwing power. Because of the irregular form of the cathode, the distance between the various potions of the cathode and anode will vary. As a result, the electrolyte must have a relatively higher throwing power in order to create a uniform deposit.
Also Read: What is an Electrode?