This course covers (exclusively) electroplating processes in a non-technical, low technical manner. Each of the 27 lessons provides vital information on the hardware (equipment) and software (chemical solutions) that is used to produce an extremely broad range of electroplated deposits. The 27 lessons are divided into three sections. Each lesson will provide a basic level of knowledge in the subject matter. Each lesson includes a self-test quiz that is designed to prepare the student for the optional exam for each of three levels of training.


Course Options

  • Home-Study Part-1

    Tuition: $1110 | Member Tuition: $825
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  • Home-Study Part-2

    Tuition: $1110 | Member Tuition: $825
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  • Home-Study Part-3

    Tuition: $1110 | Member Tuition: $825
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  • Web-Based Part-1

    March 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
    Deadline: February 19
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  • Web-Based Part-2

    May 4, 5, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
    Deadline: April 21
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  • Web-Based Part-3

    September 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 Deadline: August 25
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  • Optional Exam – Part 1

    Tuition: $250 | Member Tuition: $150
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  • Optional Exam – Part 2

    Tuition: $250 | Member Tuition: $150
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  • Optional Exam – Part 3

    Tuition: $250 | Member Tuition: $150
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    • Certification

      There is an optional exam related to each of the three sections. By successfully completing all three exams, the candidate will be awarded a “Certified Electroplater” designation. This designation is considered to be a lower-level certification than a CEF. However, a candidate with a CE certification can achieve “CEF-3” status by successfully completing the Aluminum Finishing and Electroless Deposition exams.
      Students may wish to focus on obtaining a CE certification, if they wish to expand their knowledge of exclusively electroplating processes and demonstrate a moderate level of expertise. Students should pursue a CEF certification should they wish to expand their knowledge of a variety of metal finishing processes including electroplating, anodizing, electroless deposition.

Part 1

This part focuses on the fundamentals involved in electroplating, including math skills, equipment details, electroplating principles.

Lesson 1: Calculations Related to Electroplating
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
Lesson 2: Introduction
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.
Lesson 3: Equipment-Part 1
Students are provided with the equipment that makes up an electroplating line, individual processing tanks and the function of various components. The importance of the proper utilization and maintenance of each of the following equipment is detailed:

  • Types of Plating Lines
  • Plating Tanks
  • Anodes (soluble and insoluble)
  • Rectifiers and Electrical Connections
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Filtration and Agitation
  • Air Handling/Exhaust
Lesson 4: Equipment-Part 2
The basic construction of plating racks, barrel plating hardware 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.
Lesson-5: Electroplated Substrates
The numerous part fabrication methods employed to produce parts that require electroplating and why certain metals/parts require special attention and processing are the main focus of this lesson. Also covered are commonly encountered plating problems posed by parts made of steel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, zinc, tin powder metallurgy and copper/copper alloys.
Lesson-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. Commonly used processing steps and why these operations are critical to the quality of the plated parts is the main focus of this lesson.
Lesson-7: QA/QC Tests
This lesson describes the most commonly conducted quality assurance/control tests employed on electroplated parts. Included are tests for thickness, STEP testing, adhesion, accelerated corrosion, porosity, hardness, residual stress, ductility, wear, surface roughness, solderability, surface tension, part cleanliness, and Hull Cell testing.
Lesson-8: Optimizing Rinsing
This lesson discusses and provides calculation methods for the major method employed to conserve water without compromising process quality, including the use of counterflow rinses, spray rinses, multiple-use rinses, and drag-out rinses. The lesson also discusses water quality issues and measurement of rinse-water quality using conductivity devices.
Lesson-9: Maintenance of Plating Solutions
This lesson details the most commonly employed methods of maintaining and purifying electroplating solutions, including:

  • Filtration
  • Carbon Treatment
  • Chemical Additions
  • Solution Analysis
  • Electrolytic Treatments
  • Making Chemical Additions
  • Measuring/Monitoring pH
Lesson 10: Hydrogen Embrittlement
This lesson will cover basic principles involved in the creation and elimination of hydrogen embrittlement effects of high strength-low alloy steels. Covered are:

  • Which metals/alloys are sensitive to hydrogen embrittlement
  • Operations that aggravate the issue
  • Hydrogen embrittlement mechanism
  • Mitigation methods
  • Operational conditions that minimize the problem
  • Hydrogen embrittlement tests

Part 2

Part 2 lessons cover corrosion theory and electroplating zinc, zinc alloys, copper alloys, tin alloys and cadmium, along with chromate conversion coatings which are commonly applied over zinc, zinc alloys and cadmium plated deposits.

Lesson 1: Corrosion
This lesson provides basic corrosion principles related to a variety of corrosion mechanisms, including chemical attack, galvanic corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, filiform corrosion, and fretting corrosion. A discussion of the corrosion of commonly employed electrodeposits including zinc, copper, nickel, and chromium are provided
Lesson-2: Zinc Plating Part 1: Chloride solutions
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for acid chloride-based zinc plating solutions. Special focus is given to function of and control over individual ingredients that make up such a zinc plating solution. Common plating problems and possible methods of remediation are detailed.
Lesson-3: Zinc Plating Part 2: Alkaline solutions
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for the cyanide-based and alkaline non-cyanide-based zinc plating solutions. Special focus is given to function of and control over individual ingredients that make up such a zinc plating solution. Common plating problems and possible methods of remediation are detailed.
Lesson-4: Zinc Alloy Plating-Part 1: Zinc-Nickel
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for the alkaline and acidic zinc nickel plating solutions in use in the metal finishing industry. Special focus is given to function of and control over individual ingredients that make up such a zinc-ally plating solution. Common plating problems and possible methods of remediation are detailed.
Lesson-5: Zinc Alloy Plating-Part 2: Zinc-Cobalt
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for the alkaline and acidic zinc-cobalt plating solutions. Special focus is given to function of and control over individual ingredients that make up such a zinc-alloy plating solution. Common plating problems and possible methods of remediation are detailed.
Lesson-6: Zinc Alloy Plating-Part 3: Zinc-Iron
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for the alkaline and acidic zinc-iron plating solutions. Special focus is given to function of and control over individual ingredients that make up such a zinc-alloy plating solution. Common plating problems and possible methods of remediation are detailed.
Lesson-7: Electroplating Copper Alloys and Tin Alloys
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for copper and tin alloy electroplating solutions. Special focus is given to function of and control over individual ingredients in each process. Common plating problems and possible methods of remediation are detailed. Specific electroplated alloys, that are covered in this lesson, are:

  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • White Bronze
  • Tin-zinc
  • Tin-cobalt
  • Tin-lead
Lesson-8: Cadmium Plating
This lesson will provide the chemistry, operational conditions purification and troubleshooting of cyanide cadmium electroplating processes. Common plating problems and possible methods of remediation are detailed.
Lesson-9: Chromate Conversion Coatings
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for typical chromate conversion coatings that are applied over electroplated zinc, zinc-alloy and cadmium deposits. Equipment requirements and factors that differentiate trivalent-based chromates from hexavalent-based chromates are provided. The mechanism of chromate formation and use of sealers and top-cats is also included.

Part 3

Part 3 lessons cover the deposition of noble deposits including copper, nickel, chromium, gold, silver and tin. Decorative and functional versions of nickel and chromium plating are covered separately.

Lesson-20: Copper Plating
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for the main copper electroplating solutions used in the metal finishing industry; alkaline non-cyanide, acid
sulfate, and cyanide. Special focus is given to the function of and control over individual ingredients in each process. Common contaminants and possible methods of removal/treatment are discussed for each process.
Lesson-1: Decorative Nickel Plating
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for the Watts bright nickel plating solutions used in decorative applications. Special focus is given to the function of and control over individual ingredients. This lesson also details typical corrosion resistance requirements and compliance with the requirements of the automotive/motorcycle industry. Common plating problems and possible remediation methods are also provided. The lesson also covers nickel strike, high pH and satin nickel electroplating solutions and why/where they would be employed.
Lesson:2: Decorative Chromium Plating
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for decorative chromium plating solutions, including trivalent (chloride and sulfate-based processes) and hexavalent formulations. Special focus is given to the function of and control over individual ingredients in each process. Common plating problems and possible remediation methods are also provided.
Lesson-3: Hard Chromium Plating
This lesson provides chemical make-up and operational conditions for chromium plating solutions that are used to produce “hard” deposits. Solutions covered include “conventional”, mixed catalyst, and thin-dense. Special focus is given to equipment requirements, fixturing, anode options and anode maintenance. Information on analysis and control of hard chromium plating solutions is also provided.
Lesson-4: Sulfamate Nickel Plating
This lesson provides the chemistry, operational conditions purification and troubleshooting of sulfamate nickel plating processes. Special focus is given to the detection and control of organic and inorganic impurities. Common plating problems and possible remediation methods are also provided.
Lesson-5: Silver Plating
This lesson provides the chemistry, operational conditions purification and troubleshooting of cyanide and non-cyanide silver plating solutions. Special focus is given to function of and control over individual ingredients. Common plating problems and possible remediation methods are also provided. This lesson also provides a detailed discussion of carbonate generation and carbonate removal methods.
Lesson-6: Gold Plating
This lesson provides the chemistry, operational conditions purification and troubleshooting of cyanide and non-cyanide gold plating solutions. Included are:

  • Alkaline cyanide solutions
  • Hard acid gold solutions
  • Neutral gold formulations
  • Additive-free hard gold solutions
  • Sulfite gold solutions
  • Sulfite-thiosulfate gold solutions

Chemical make-up, equipment, operational conditions and impurity control are major topics in this lesson. A special focus is given to the subject of how to minimize porosity in gold deposits and gold plating for electronic connector applications.

Lesson-7: Tin Plating
This lesson covers tin plating from acidic and alkaline processes. Chemical make-up, equipment and operational conditions are the main focus of this lesson. A discussion of reflowing, inter- metallic formation and the causes and prevention of tin whiskers is included. Specific processes covered in this lesson are:

  • Acid-sulfate tin plating formulations
  • Alkaline tin plating formulations
  • MSA tin solutions plating formulations

Common plating problems and possible remediation methods are also provided.