When current flows through a conductor, it produces specific effects. These are known as the effects of electric current. These effects result in the conversion of electrical energy into various forms of energy such as mechanical energy, heat energy, magnetic energy, chemical energy, etc. Some of the important effects of current are
- Chemical effect of electric current
- Heating effect of electric current
Chemical effect of current:
We studied in previous classes; current will not flow through the open circuit. When open ends of the circuit are connected with normal drinking water, the bulb in the circuit glows, which denotes that certain liquids conduct electricity like metals.
The bulb glows in the above circuit denotes that liquids conduct electricity
Now, it is clear that certain liquids also conduct electricity. When an electric current is passed through a conducting solution, some chemical reactions take place in the solution, and it produces electrons that conduct electricity. This effect is called the chemical effect of electric current. The decomposition of molecules of a solution into positive and negative ions by passing an electric current through it is called electrolysis. Electrolysis has several applications. It is used in the extraction and purification of metals. The most general use of electrolytes is electroplating.
Electroplating is one of the well-known applications of chemical effects of electric current. The process of depositing a layer of one metal over another metal's surface by passing an electric current is called electroplating.
The process of coating zinc on the metal parts
Electroplating is applied in various fields. We use iron materials in automobiles and iron bridges to provide strength. However, iron tends to corrode due to rust formation. So, a coating of zinc or chromium is deposited on iron to protect it from corrosion and rust formation. Chromium has a shiny appearance. It does not get rusted and also resists scratches. But, chromium is costly, and it may not be reasonable to make the whole object out of chromium. So, the objects such as car parts, bicycle handlebars, bath taps, kitchen gas burners, and wheel rims are made from a cheaper metal, and only a coating of chromium is deposited over it.
Electroplating done on a bicycle handlebar