JUN 2021

Electroplating vs. Electroless Plating: What’s the Difference?

In the technological era, every industry is embracing technologically advanced tools and techniques to improve its business. This helps the businesses provide the best products to the customers. Even the manufacturing and metallurgical sectors have also implemented advanced tools and techniques in the operational and functional units to increase productivity and enhance the speed of the work.

Besides this, the metal and manufacturing companies are also incorporating advanced techniques to increase the strength and durability of the metal parts and products. Metal products are in high demand these days, and thus there is pressure on the metal manufacturing companies to provide the best to their clients and customers. In the metal industry, the best metal is one that does not get corroded or gets rusted. The one which remains strong for a long period.

But how these companies are managing to provide such metal products that have high durability, strength, and even appearance. Well, it is possible due to the process called Plating. In this process, a protective metallic layer is formed on the metal parts/components, which, in turn, will impart a great look and strength to the metal products. According to the experts, Plating is one of the best and highly advanced methods that helps in making metal products more resilient and less prone to corrosion over time.

There are multiple plating techniques that are being used by the metal cutting and manufacturing unit to improve the strength of the metal products but two mainly used plating techniques are Electroplating and Electroless Plating. The approach of the two processes is quite different but the ultimate goal of both methods is to develop a layer of protection to increase the mental strength and its durability.

Both the methods of plating are highly reliable, and you can choose any of those methods to improve the look and strength of the metal products/components. The choice of the plating technique is usually dependent on the type of result you are expecting from the process. So in this article, we would be discussing various aspects of these specified processes. We will then understand what is the difference between the two.

The very first and the most basic difference between electroplating and electroless plating is that the former uses electricity to develop the protective layer of metal on the surface of the metal bodies; whereas, the latter does not make use of the electricity. Instead, it makes use of an aqueous solution for forming the metal deposit on the surface of the metal bodies.

Understanding The Electroplating Process:

The Electroplating Process

As you know that the electroplating process makes use of electricity to adhere a layer of metallic zinc on it. In the electroplating method of generating a protective layer, the metal products or commodities are perfectly cleaned by removing all the debris, dirt, and dust. Only after perfect cleaning, the metal products are dipped into the solution of the plating. As soon as the substance is dipped into the solution, the current is passed through the solution and then the ions of the solution are transferred from anode to cathode — anode is the positive electrode, and cathode is the negative electrode.

You must take note of the things that as in this process electricity is used which means, it is applicable only for the components that are good conductors of electricity. This is necessary because when the substance is not conductive, it will not let the component be deposited with the ions or the protective metallic layer.

Understanding Of Electroless Plating:

Electroless Plating

As the above method was making use of electricity to be passed through the solution to develop a protective layer. But in this process, there would be no use of the electricity to bind the metal particles to develop a layer on the surface of the objects. Due to this reason, it is also called auto-catalytic plating or electroless plating. So when the electricity is not used, how will the particles develop a bond with the metal surfaces?

The process of induced oxidation will be used to strengthen the metal surfaces and develop a strong bond. The best aspect of the electroless plating process is that it can be used for both conductive as well as non-conductive products.


Whether it is the electroplating process or the electroless plating process, both are important for metal manufacturing units and companies. So you must know about both the process and choose the process that is most suitable for your requirements.

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