Electroplating is the electrochemical precipitation of metallic coatings on objects. These objects are usually made of metal, but plastics are increasingly being coated as well. Galvanising takes place in a watery solution containing the ions of the metal being deposited (electrolyte). An electric voltage is applied between the work piece being coated (cathode) and a counter electrode (anode). This reduces the ions to the elementary metal on the work piece. Corrosion protection is the leading field of application (zinc and zinc alloys), followed by decorative coatings (chrome) and tribological functions (hard chrome, chemical nickel). Measured by the coated surface, electroplating is one of the leading surface engineering methods.