Functional vs. Cosmetic Plating is an essential question for a customer’s request for an electroplated finish. There are many uses for electroplating onto a desired part. Most applications of finishes in industrial use fall under the category of functional. Functional means they have a reason for the kind and type of plating. These reasons can be conductivity, corrosion resistance, heat resistance, anti-microbial, etc. At ProPlate®, most of our customers want a finish that is specifically for a purpose other than appearance. Appearance is always important in the final product, but the purpose of the finish is generally functional. If the appearance of a functional part is poor, ProPlate® will often redo the finish at no charge to the customer. Cosmetic plating is the application of a finish primarily for looks. Hard gold, platinum, or bright nickel is often requested as a final cosmetic layer. For cosmetic finishes, jewelry, cups, plates, utensils, and coins are often requested. Since ProPlate® is a supplier for many military and medical companies, we do not primarily plate cosmetic parts like jewelry, coins, and car rims. Instead, we tend to focus on the smaller components used in a wide variety of high-tech applications.