When you plate metal, you are using an electric current to dissolve one type of metal and adhere it as a coating on another type of metal. This usually results in a decorative or more stable finish which can protect against erosion. This requires a special type of tank to hold the plating solution, the metals involved and the electrical current which is running between them. Choosing the right tank can mean the difference between a successful electroplating and accidental damage or injury.
Most plating tanks will be made from a sturdy type of plastic which will not react with either the current or the acid solution used in the process. It is a good idea to make sure that the plastic tank you use is rated for this process. Electroplating can be done on a small scale at home or a large industrial scale and having the right material for your tank can prevent accidental damages or injuries from the process.
The size of your tank will be related to the size of the item you are plating. Larger items such as furniture or construction beams will require industrial sized tanks whereas a cell phone case will require a much smaller one. You will want a tank big enough to hold everything involved in the process, but not so large that you are wasting the acid solution and using more energy than necessary to charge the bath.
Electroplating can be a fun home hobby or a huge industrial process and can be done to enhance or alter the properties of metal parts. Some coatings protect against rusting, some are decorative and some build thickness. The metal you are coating and the one you are dissolving will both need to be able to conduct electricity in the plating solution. You will also want to have the right tank to avoid accidents or waste.