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Is coating the same as plating?

The terms coating and plating are often used interchangeably. However, they are actually two distinct methods of adding protection to the surfaces of objects.
What is coating?

Coating is essentially the adding of a layer (or layers) of material onto the existing surface of a metal component or object. This is done to enhance it in some way.

Coatings can be made from a variety of materials including ceramics, polymers, or composites, and can be applied in various ways.

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Coatings help to protect against damage and can also add desirable characteristics such as corrosion resistance or abrasion resistance. Coatings are found on a host of common items including domestic appliances, medical equipment, sports equipment, and mechanical components.

Electroless nickel coating

One increasingly popular method of adding protection to items is electroless nickel coating. This has a number of advantages over other methods.

There are a number of companies who offer this service, and who can also advise as to the best solution for you. Many specialists have online resources such as the examples seen at

What is plating?

Plating is also a way of adding an additional layer to a surface to protect or enhance it. With plating, however, this new layer is made of metal.

The benefits of this method include increased strength, hardness and corrosion resistance, helping to increase durability and/or extend lifespan. Plating can also significantly improve the appearance of an object.

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Plating is used on aeronautical and automotive parts, jewellery, medical and dental equipment, solar and electrical components, and on various household items.

What are the differences?

The main difference is that coatings are applied to metal surfaces but are usually not metallic themselves, whereas plating involves adding a thin metal layer to an existing metallic surface.


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