A Guide to Electrophoresis for Manufacturing and CNC Machining Services

electrophoresis custom parts

Electrophoresis is a surface finishing technique commonly used in manufacturing and CNC machining services. It is utilized to apply a uniform and corrosion-resistant coating of paint, lacquer, or other materials to a metal or plastic part. The process involves immersing the part in an electrolytic solution containing the coating material and then applying an electrical charge to the part and solution.

The electrical charge causes the coating material to migrate towards the part’s surface and adhere uniformly to it. Subsequently, the charge is reversed, drawing any excess coating material back into the solution. This results in a high-quality coating that is both durable and visually appealing.

Electrophoresis is especially effective for coating parts with intricate details and complex shapes, making it a widely utilized technique in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, household appliances, and furniture manufacturing. It is a versatile and cost-effective surface finishing technique that can be customized for various manufacturing applications.

In summary, electrophoresis is a crucial tool in the manufacturing industry and CNC machining services that can produce high-quality and corrosion-resistant coatings on parts, ensuring that they have a professional surface finish.

Pro & Cons


  • Uniform Coating: Electrophoresis ensures that the coating material is evenly applied to the surface of the part, resulting in a uniform finish.
  • Corrosion Resistance: The coatings produced by electrophoresis are highly resistant to corrosion, ensuring the longevity of the parts.
  • Cost-effective: Compared to other surface finishing techniques, electrophoresis is relatively cost-effective and can be tailored to suit various manufacturing applications.
  • Environmentally Friendly: The process of electrophoresis produces fewer pollutants and waste materials than some other surface finishing techniques.


  • Limited Thickness: Electrophoresis is only suitable for producing thin coatings. It cannot be used to create thick coatings or build up layers of material.
  • Limited Material Selection: Electrophoresis can only be used to coat parts made from conductive materials, such as metal or plastic.
  • Complex Process: Electrophoresis is a relatively complex process that requires specialized equipment and trained professionals to perform the procedure correctly.
  • High Initial Investment: The equipment and materials required for electrophoresis can be costly, making it less suitable for small-scale manufacturing operations.

Design Tips

  1. Material Selection: Electrophoresis requires the part to be made from a conductive material, such as metal or plastic. Therefore, the material selected for the part must be compatible with the electrophoresis process.
  2. Part Geometry: Electrophoresis is best suited for parts with complex geometries and intricate details. However, the design should avoid sharp edges or corners that may interfere with the coating process.
  3. Surface Finish: The surface finish of the part should be smooth and free of defects to ensure that the coating adheres uniformly to the surface.
  4. Coating Thickness: The thickness of the electrophoretic coating is limited and should be taken into account when designing the part to ensure that the coating meets the required thickness.
  5. Masking: The design should incorporate any necessary masking features to prevent areas of the part that should not be coated from being exposed to the electrophoresis solution.
  6. Drying and Curing: The design should take into account the drying and curing time required for the electrophoretic coating to ensure that the final product meets the required specifications.


Is electrophoretic coating good?

Electrophoretic coating is a highly effective surface finishing technique that produces a uniform, corrosion-resistant coating on metal or plastic parts. It is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly process that is widely used in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and electronics manufacturing. Overall, electrophoretic coating is a good surface finishing technique that can produce high-quality and durable coatings on parts.

How long does e-coating last?

The longevity of an electrophoretic coating depends on several factors, including the type of coating material used, the thickness of the coating, and the environmental conditions to which the part is exposed. Generally, electrophoretic coatings can last for several years, and in some cases, up to a decade, before requiring re-coating. However, the exact lifespan of the coating may vary depending on the specific application and the conditions in which the part is used.

What is better e-coating or powder coating?

Both electrophoretic coating (e-coating) and powder coating are effective surface finishing techniques that produce durable and corrosion-resistant coatings on parts. However, each technique has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of the application.

Electrophoretic coating is a highly uniform and cost-effective technique that is ideal for coating parts with complex geometries or intricate details. It can produce thin coatings that are highly corrosion-resistant, making it a popular choice for the automotive and aerospace industries.

Powder coating, on the other hand, is a thicker coating that is more resistant to impact and abrasion than electrophoretic coatings. It is suitable for parts that require a high degree of durability and can be used on a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and wood.

In summary, the choice between electrophoretic coating and powder coating depends on the specific requirements of the application, including the material, geometry, and required durability of the part. Both techniques can produce high-quality coatings and are widely used in various manufacturing industries.


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