Cadmium, a metal currently under scrutiny, has many wide and varied uses from batteries to plastic pigments. Electroplated cadmium coatings represent approximately 9% of cadmium total use. Cadmium coatings have good lubricity, are easy to solder and possess other properties which are essential for reliable service life of many engineering components. A modern and comprehensive document on the subject is the second edition of the classic CORROSION BASICS textbook.
Cadmium is normally applied by electrodeposition from cyanide or acid solutions in barrels or vats. Cadmium can also be applied by mechanical plating, vacuum deposition and metal spraying, but generally only electroplated Cadmium is of commercial importance. Cadmium is in fact a by-product of zinc production and it was not until the 1920's that electroplating of Cadmium became widely used as a protective coating on iron and steel. Over 90 per cent of all cadmium coatings are deposited electroplating. Cadmium as an electroplated metallic coating has the following advantages.