Electrical properties such as conduction, induction, insulation, magnetism, and resistance heating can all be achieved using coatings. These coatings can be applied over very large areas, such as on corona rolls, or locally for sensor applications. Multilayer systems can be used to build electrical components such as fuel cells where anode, cathode, and electrolyte are depicted. Iron-based materials are used to coat aluminum pans, enabling them to be use on induction stoves. Specific resistance coatings are applied to heating elements.
Metallic coatings are applied to non-conductive or poorly conductive base materials to enhance electrical conductivity. It is also possible to combine conductive and non-conductive coatings. Such combinations are used to prevent static loading, to shield against electromagnetic radiation, or simply to improve the conductivity of electrical contact areas.
Ceramic materials are excellent electrical insulators when applied to metallic substrates. These coatings are stable at high temperatures, and resistant to molten metals and mechanical wear. Insulating properties can be increased through applying a sealant.
Coatings of ferromagnetic materials (iron, nickel, cobalt) are precisely applied to very small surfaces. The resulting induction voltage can be detected by a sensor to determine the exact position of a moving component. Magnetic coatings are commonly used on piston rods in contaminated environments.