Rhodium Plating

Definition - What does Rhodium Plating mean?

Rhodium plating is a process that is used to protect metallic surfaces and is most commonly employed in the jewelry-making industry. Rhodium plating is typically performed using the electroplating process.

Rhodium plating is silvery-white in color. This color is considered aesthetically pleasing and makes rhodium plating even more popular. Rhodium is a hard and lustrous material, making it ideal for the protection of jewelry.

Corrosionpedia explains Rhodium Plating

Rhodium plating leaves a shiny and lustrous layer over top of a base metal. This radiant finish in conjunction with the relatively high hardness that rhodium provides makes it excellent for jewelry-making applications.

The high hardness of rhodium provides abrasion and scratch resistance. Rhodium is also chemically inert so the plating increases the corrosion resistance of the base metal.

Rhodium plating is usually performed using the electroplating process because it allows for precise control of the coating's thickness. If the coating is too thin then the coating could cause discoloration and wear off too quickly. If coating is too thick then the coating will be brittle, which could result in cracking. It is generally agreed that the ideal rhodium coating thickness is about 0.75 to 1.50 microns.

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