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Utilization of Electrical


Electrolysis and Electroplating

Prof. A.Q. Chang

UCET,The Islamia University of Bahawalpur

Electroplating is the science of

depositing metals by means of electric
current. The metals are invariably
deposited from a solution of their
compounds in water.
The process of depositing a metal on
the surface of some other metals by
Need of Electroplating
a) Protection of metals against
b) Giving shining appearance to the
c) Giving reflecting properties to the
d) Replacing worn out materials.
Application of Electrolysis

a) Electroplating and Electrotyping.

b) Extraction of metals from ores.
c) Refining of metals.
d) Manufacturing of Chemicals
(Oxygen,Cholorine,Caustic Soda etc)
Basic Principle:
When DC current passes through anelectrolyte
the molecules of salt dissociated into two ions
one of which is positivly charged and other is
negatively charged.
CuSO4 is dissociated into +ve Cu ions and
ve SO4 .If two electrodes are dipped in
such a solution and a potential difference is
Applied ,Cu ions are attracted towrds Cathode
and SO4 ions are attracted towards Anode.
When CuSO4 is dissolved into water
CuSO4 Cu++ + SO4- -

At the anode
SO4- - - 2e SO4
When H2 SO4 reacts with anode (which
is Cu)
Cu++ + 2e Cu
Faradays laws of
1st Law:
Weight of a substance libreted from an electrotype
in a given time is propotional to the total quantity
of electricty passed in that time.
Then W I.t
or W = Z.I.t
I = Current in Ampere
t = Time in seconds
Z = Constant called the electro-chemical
equivalent of substance.
Electro-chemical Equivalent

If I = 1 Amp
T = 1 sec
Then W = Z
It is the amount of that substance by
weight liberated in a unit time by the
passage of unit current

Its units are mg/columb or it can be

converted into kg/kAhr
Z = W mg/columb
Z = W mg/Amp-sec
= W x 103 x 10-3 x3600 x 103
= 3.6 W kg/1000 Amp-hr
Electro-chemical Equivalent
of different metals:

Element Mg/Columb Kg/1000AH

Copper 0.329 1.1844
(Sulphate solution)
Copper 0.6580 2.3688
(Cyanide solution)
Nickle 1.3043 1.0954
Silver 1.1180 4.0248
Zinc 0.3370 1.2132
Tin 0.6140 2.2132
Oxygen 0.0829 0.2984
Faradays 2nd Law of
If the same current flows for a given
time through several electrolytes,the
weight of substance libreted are
propotional to their chemical
The chemical equivalent or equivalent
weight of a substance with unit weight
hydrogen or 8 gm of oxygenis 1. The
no. of hydrogen atoms that can be
diplaced by an atom ofanother

According to law if we take two

electrolytes of copper sulphate and
nickle sulphate in which same current
flows for the same time then
Current effeciency:
Due to impurities which secondary reaction the
quantity of liberated substance is less than that
calculated by faradays law i.e.

Current = 90-98 %
Energy Efficiency:
Due to secondary reactions the actual voltage required for
deposited or liberated of metal is higher than the theorotical
value which isncreases the actual energy required.
Voltage equired for the passage of the current
through an electrolyte depends upon the
potential drops at the electrodes and the
electrolyte. It is desireable that drops should be
reduced to minimum and for this purpose same
agent is added to make electrolyte a good
conductor thus reducing the voltage drops.
In copper plating sulphuric acid is added to
CuSO4 bath. The normal voltage to pass current
through most electrolyte is about 1 to 2 volts.
Example No. 1
Find thickness of copper deposited on a plate of
2.25 cm2 duringelectrolysis if a current of 1amp is
passed for 100 min.
(Density of copper id 8.89 gm/cc and ECE of Cu is
0.0003295 gms/Columb.)
Solution: ECE odf Cu = 0.0003295gm/col
Current strength = 1 amp
Time = 100 min = 100x60 =6000sec
Wt of Cu deposited W= ZIT = 0.0003295x1x6000
Density of Cu = 8.9 gm/cc

Volume = Area (A) x Thickness(t)

= 2.25 x t
Or t = V/2.25 = 0.222/2.25
= 0.0986cm Ans
Example No. 2
If a current of 10Amp deposites 13.42
gms of silver from silver nitrate in 20
min. Calculate ECE of Silver.
I = 10 Amp
t = 20 x60 = 1200 sec
Weight deposited W = 13.42 gm
Z = W/(I x t)
= 13.42/(10 x 1200) gm/col
Example No. 3
A rectangle plate meaasurig 5 x 4 x1 cm is to be
electroplated with nickle. How long will it take to deposit a
layer of 0.1 mm thick when a current of 4.3 amps flows
through the circuit. ECE of Nickle = 0.000304 gm/col.
Density of Nickle = 8.6
Volume of metal plate V = 5 x 4 x 1 = 20 cc
Finding volume of the metal plate after Electroplating
= 5.02 x 4.02 x 1.02 = 20.584 cc
Volume of Ni deposited = 20.584 20 = 0.584 cc
As Wt = Volume x Density
W = 0.584 x 8.6
As t = W/(Z x I)
T = 0.584 x 8.6/(0.000304 x 4.3 x 60 x 60) =1 Hour 4 Min and 2
Electroplating and
Electroplating is the most important application of
the electrolysis. Plating solutions are kept in large
rectangular tanks known as Plating Vats which
are open at the top and are made from mild steel
plates. Three are more brass rods (tubes) run
parallel to each other on the top of the vat,two on
the sides and one in the centre. Two rods are
connected with +ve pole are anode bars and rods
connected with ve poles are called cathode bars.
The articles are suspended into plating solution by
copper wires connected to cathode bars so that
the +ve metal ions may be deposited on them.
The anode bars serve for the support
for anodes which are long metal pieces
suspended to reach well in the solution
and serve as +ve pole. When DC
supply is applied to two electrodes,
current flows in electrolyte as aresult
metal ons +ve beginto move towards
the work and get deposited on it and
non- metalic ion being ve move
towards the anodes.
Thank You

Prepared by
Engr. Muzamil faiz