Plating Essentials

Recommended Time & Experience:  Understanding of Plating Basics; entry level, some experience.  Introduction to Plating strongly recommended but not required.  For those a few years away from taking basic math courses, the online Math Basics course offered by NASF Foundation is highly recommended, but not required as a pre-requisite. 

Description:  This course provides a comprehensive review of the surface finishing process from pre-treatment, to coating applications, to post-treatment.  In addition, it covers quality basics, troubleshooting, equipment requirements and maintenance.     

Designed For: But not limited to Applicators, Line Operators, Managers, and Sales Personnel who want a higher level of understanding of the surface plating process.  

Course Content Level:  Foundational (100 Level)

Approx Hours to Complete:  10 Hours‎

Learning Objectives:  Those completing this course and/or earning a certificate in Plating Essentials 102 are able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the finishes commonly applied by the electroplating process and the basic differences in performance among the various coatings.
  • Ability to apply basic math and chemistry as it relates to the electroplating process.
  • Identify and describe the main components in an electroplating process.
  • Knowledge of various types of parts and problems that each can pose when processed by electroplating.

Course Options

  • Web-Based

    Dates: February 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
    Registration Deadline: February 1, 2024
    Member: $975 | Non-Member: $1,300                 

  • Home-Study

    Member: $900 | Non-member Tuition: $1,300

  • Optional Exam

    Member: $200 | Non-member Tuition: $300


Course Description

1. Plating Calculations
This lesson teaches basic math skills that 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 provides 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 electricity and electrochemistry, as they relate to the production and operation of electroplating solutions.
3. Electroplating Equipment

Students become familiar with the equipment that makes up a plating line and individual plating tanks and their function. The importance of the proper use and maintenance of each of the following equipment is detailed:

  • 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 the care and maintenance of plating racks is also covered. The use of shields and robbers 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 or parts require special attention and processing is the main focus of this lesson. Also covered are common plating problems posed by parts made of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc and copper and its 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 common plating processes, 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 on best operating practices for conducting stripping operations.