Additional Craft Information:
Electroplating nickel, and electroplating in general, has a long history that goes as far back as 1800. The chemist Luigi Brugnatelli is known to be the first to use electrodeposition, or electroplating, to plate gold over silver metal objects. Brugnatelli had a close friend who discovered the basic principles that allowed for the usage of electrical “voltaic” cells. The man's name was Allisandro Volta and this is where the name volt originated. Brugnatelli used the associated electrical and voltaic basics to create the concept as well as achieve the practical application of plating. In 1805 he was able to actually plate a metal object of silver with a small layer of gold.
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Over time others developed and expanded on the concepts and theories that Brugnatelli first worked on and brought to light in the field of electroplating. The ability to plate was used widely in the 1940s with the beginnings of the electronic industry. Plating in circuitry is very useful and can be found in practice very much so today.
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For those interested in more than just the history of electroplating and wish to do more than read about its origination there is a lot of information available for the do-it-yourself, hobbyist or at-home plater to keep them involved and up to speed on plating kits, plating techniques and plating applications available for very little money. Although there are various plating kit vendors and manufacturers on the market today, it is very important to research the right type and size of kit for the project at hand. Buying the very cheapest kit may not be the best idea and one would be smart to research different kits and make sure they have enough solution and other materials before settling on a specific kit.
For example, a 1-1/2 gallon tank-based, traditional nickel electroplating kit that involves the submersion of the conductive metal to be plated in a chemical nickel salts solution can cost around $230 from an online retailer. This kit will allow the user to add a plate onto steel, brass, copper and many other metals. This would be mainly used for decorative plating on a small scale. It would include a degreaser tank and an auto agitator and filter pump to keep the solution moving and surrounding the material to be plated. But how much does the kit pricing go up for larger kits?
A quick look at an online vendor shows that a 3 gallon kit would run about $300, a 4-1/2 gallon kit $360 and a 15 gallon kit around $2,000. The larger the kit the bigger the tank and more materials such as nickel salt solutions that will allow for larger pieces to be plated. These kits will provide all the material needed, including instructions, for anyone interested in plating their own projects with a relatively affordable at-home setup.