Rhodium is used in the jewelry industry to brighten metal and make it more corrosive resistant. A very thin layer is electroplated over less expensive base metals, such as platinum, white gold, or silver, shielding the less resistant metal from the elements. Rhodium electroplating is usually 8-12% efficient, with much of the energy used in side reactions that produce hydrogen and oxygen. An attempt has been made to raise the efficiency and change the grain structure by introducing the electrodes to ultrasonic waves while electroplating. A 750 Watt, 20 kHz ultrasonic processor is used to transmit ultrasonic waves to the rhodium plating solution through a sonic horn. The pressure waves then produce cavitations and mixing in the solution. The observed effects of the ultrasonic waves on the process are close to 3 times the plating efficiency and altered surface morphology.
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