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The most common application of the chemical effect of electric current is electroplating. In this process, there exists a liquid, usually called the electrolyte, through which current passes. Two electrodes, connected to the terminals of a battery with a switch in between, are inserted in the liquid. The electrode that is connected to the positive terminal of the battery is called the “anode,” and the other connected to the negative terminal is called the “cathode”. Electroplating is done in industries to have an anti-reactive coating on the parts of machines so that they do not react with the raw material, to have an anti-corrosive coating for the machines so that they do not get corroded, and a heat-resistive coating for parts like boilers to resist the heat produced by the machinery.
Gold plating is one of the most common applications of electroplating in ornament-making. In electroplating, the solution gets dissociated into its respective ions. The positive ions are called cations, and the negative ions are called anions. The current in the solution is due to the flow of these ions. The anions move towards the anode, and the cations move towards the cathode. The cationsare converted into atoms at the cathode and form a layer on it, which we call electroplating. To compensate for the loss of ions in the solution, the atoms of the anode dissociate into the solution, forming the ions. The process of electroplating is used for plating parts of vehicles with nickel and chromium, which protects them from corrosion.