Matt Martz
| NASF Education Director
(202) 527-0252

Automotive gearbox and clutch cross-section

Plating Essentials

Course Options

Intended Audience:

This training program is designed to be benefit to individuals who have no experience and no training in the art and science involved in electroplating. Examples of such individuals are new hires for plating line work, inexperienced supervisors, sales personnel serving metal finishers, and those in management that want a non-technical/low technical primer in the subject. This training may also be of benefit as an introductory course for individuals who intend to go on with more advanced training courses offered by AESF.


The goal of this course is to provide more comfort with terminology, knowledge of coating differences and process equipment used in conducting electroplating operations.


Initiate the trainee into the electroplating industry by providing only non-technical or low technical information. At the conclusion of this training the student should:

1. Plating Calculations
This lesson aims at teaching basic math skills that will allow students to understand the concepts of current density and the relationships between current density, plating time and plating quality.
2. Introduction: Chemistry, Electricity and Electrochemistry
This lesson will provide a non-technical look at the chemistry involved in the production and operation of electroplating solutions. This lesson will also provide a non-technical look at the subjects of electricity and electrochemistry, as they are involved in the production and operation of electroplating solutions.
3. Electroplating Equipment
Students are provided with the equipment that makes up a plating line and individual plating tanks and its function. The importance of the proper utilization and maintenance of each of the following equipment is detailed:

  • Types of Plating Lines
  • Plating Tanks
  • Anodes
  • Rectifiers and Electrical Connections
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Filtration & Agitation
  • Air Handling/Exhaust
4. Rack & Barrel Plating
The basic construction of a plating rack and the importance of each feature is a focus of this lesson. The importance of proper racking methods and care/ maintenance of plating racks are also covered. Why shields and robbers may be employed is another focus of this lesson.The basic construction of a plating barrel and the importance of proper barrel loading, care and maintenance of barrels are discussed.
5. Types of Plated Parts
Why certain metals/parts require special attention and processing is the main focus of this lesson. Also covered are commonly encountered plating problems posed by parts made of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc and copper/copper alloys.
6. Preparing Parts for Plating
This lesson provides a basic understanding of primary methods employed to prepare parts for plating. Included in this lesson are soak cleaning, electrocleaning, acid pickling, etching and descaling. Why these operations are critical to the quality of the plated parts is the main focus of this lesson.
7. Popular Plating Processes
Students are provided with operational information on specific plating processes that are commonly employed, including zinc, zinc alloy, decorative nickel, functional nickel, decorative chromium, hard chromium, copper and silver plating.
8. Common Plating Defects
This lesson focuses on the causes, effects and prevention of contamination of the plating solutions covered in lesson 7.
9. Stripping
This lesson focuses upon best operating practices when conducting stripping operations.