Cadmium plating is the process of electroplating cadmium, a soft white metal, to steel, cast iron, malleable iron, copper or powdered metal. Cadmium plating offers protection from corrosion.
Other characteristics of cadmium plating include reduced friction between plated pieces, good electrical conductivity and ease of welding. Cadmium plated surfaces resist the growth of mold and bacteria. While 90 percent of cadmium plating is done through an electroplating process, it can also be achieved by mechanical plating as well as through thermal vapor deposition. NASA prohibits the use of cadmium plated components in space flight electronic systems due to concerns over cadmium's tendency to sublimate in high vacuum environments.