Gluconate, because of its strong affinity for metal ions, is useful in a number of electroplating processes. Electroplating requires an effective sequestrant as a stabilizing agent to prevent impurities from triggering undesirable reactions in the bath. The chelation properties of gluconate assist in the deterioration of the anode thus increasing plating bath efficiency.
Gluconate can be used in copper, zinc and cadmium plating baths for brightening and increasing luster.
Gluconic acid can be a useful component in electroless operations by increasing throwing power of the plating bath to reduce the time of immersion necessary to develop a given plate. This principle of enhanced throwing power of the bath by increasing the gluconate concentration has also been shown in the electroplating of nickel.