Electroplating – What is Electroplating?

What is Electroplating?

If you pass electricity through a solution, you can cause a chemical reaction. 
New substances are produced where the electric current enters and leaves the solution—at the electrodes. Electricity can also change the electrodes themselves.
Here is an experiment you can try.

The method of making a metal coating by means of electricity is called electroplating. 

It is often used to put very thin coats of expensive metals, like silver or gold, onto cheaper metals.
Most gold watches are really made from a mixture of other metals with just a thin electroplating of gold on the surface. 

What does EPNS mean?

Some knives, forks, and spoons are stamped with the letters EPNS.
This stands for Electroplated Nickel Silver. 
The silver coating gives them a bright, shiny surface.
Sometimes metals are coated for protection.
Many machines are made from iron and steel, but these metals rust in damp air.
Chromium metal is tougher but very expensive.
So small amounts of chromium are used to electroplate the surfaces of these cheaper metals.
This makes them look better and last much longer.