Electroplating is a type of surface treatment of iron providing efficient protection against corrosion. It is therefore well-suited for iron items for outdoor use. Electroplating or zincing is the cheapest form of corrosion protection.
The metal item is cleaned in acidic and basic baths to remove any oil, grease or rust.
Electroplating is a mild, acidic zinc process through with a 12-16uM zinc layer is applied to the item using electricity. The item is treated using a 20 mm ball, and only the parts of the item accessible to the ball will meet the standards of galvanisation. It is therefore not possible to galvanise items with bends or hollows.
The zinc needs to be protected against oxidation to prevent it from producing white rust. Therefore, a yellow or blue chromate passivation layer is applied to the item. This process is called chromatisation.
Chromatisation protects against corrosion and maintains the appearance of the zinc surface for shorter or longer periods, depending on the type of chromatisation.
The item is placed in chemical baths to which no electricity is added, thus preserving the surface. This makes it more difficult for oxygen to corrode the zinc surface.
In order to further increase the durability of the item, a water-based acrylic lacquer may be applied subsequent to chromatisation.