Advantages of chromium plating

Chromium plating, otherwise know as chrome plating, uses the technique of electroplating a fairly thin layer of chromium onto a plastic or metal surface.

An example of chrome plating
An example of chrome plating

It is possible for the layer to be for purely decorative purposes, as well as it being able to provide resistance against corrosion, make cleaning efforts simpler, even to make a surface resilient. There are a variety of imitations of chrome that are inexpensive used solely for aesthetic purposes.

There a number of advantages that present themselves with chromium plating:

  • Great surface finish
  • Rare to little rusting
  • Aesthetics

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What is hard chrome plating?

Hard chrome plating is the term given to the electroplating process where chromium is distributed from a chromic acid solution.

Hard Chrome PlatingThere are a variety of types of hard chrome which include porous chromium, micro-porous chromium, crack free chromium and micro-cracked chromium.

The micro-cracked coatings and porous coatings must acquire a minimum thickness between 80 and 120µm in order for them to confer adequate corrosion resistance. These platings are designed to retain lubricant which is used for sliding and bearing types of applications.

Chrome plating is the solution for resisting wear and corrosion along with its tribological (low friction) characteristics.

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Hard chrome plating

Hard chrome plating is an electrolytic method that deposits chrome for engineering applications from a solution composed of chromic acid.

The deposits that are applied can vary from .25 – 1,000 microns thickness for a wide range of applications.
The thinner deposits that are used are done so to substantially increase the life of components in wear applications or corrosive environments, also the thicker deposits would be used for salvaging and repairing damaged or worn components.

High hardness

Electrodeposited chrome is an extremely hard substance with typical values of 850 – 1050 HV (63 – 70 HRc) which relates back to the term ‘hard’ chrome.
Thus making it an extremely durable coating for wear resistant and abrasion resistant applications.

Corrosion resistance

Hard Chrome possesses a high resistance to atmospheric oxidation, and a good resistance to most oxidising and reducing agents, (aside from chlorides and other halides) leading to its wide-spread use in the Food and Chemical Industries.

Applications

– Hydraulic and pneumatic piston rods and cylinders
– Plastic and rubber rolls, moulds, dyes, screws etc.
– Automotive and mechanical components
– Press tools and punches
– Print cylinders and plates
– Food machinery
– Valves, gates and bodies
– Mining equipment
– Timber and paper processing equipment
– Pump shafts and rotors
– Textile components

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How does chrome plating work?

How exactly do you chrome plate an item?

Chrome plating is the process of applying a layer of chromium onto a material, most commonly metal. Although it’s sometimes used for the purpose of decoration, chrome plating can be used for a number of purposes, including the protection of material layers. It’s a fantastic combatant of metal corrosion too.

The process of chrome plating includes five (somewhat basic) stages. First of all, a high amount of attention is paid to the object that is going to receive chrome plating. This could be a number of things, so it isn’t really particular what this might be. A number of chemicals are used in order to completely degrease the metals, ensuring that the surface is completely free of any components that may cause the chrome plating process to fail.

For the next major stage of the chrome plating process, the treated metal with undergo a number of further treatments in order to smooth the surface. Ensuring that the metal surface is as smooth as can be, the chrome plating outcome will result in a much higher degree of integrity over a longer time period. After being completely sure that the surface is smooth, the metal is carefully placed into a vat filled with treatment solution, which allows the metal to be gradually warmed up to the perfect temperature in order to apply optimal chrome plating.

In the final stage of the chrome plating process, the actual plating can begin. A vat is filled with chrome (chromium) components, allowing the compounds to find their way into the metal surface. The amount of time in which the metal remains inside the vat will always depend on the degree of thickness that’s desired for chrome plating.

Chrome plating is a fantastic technology, as it allows metal items to deal with exposure for a number of years. The metal bumpers on the front of vehicles is a fantastic example of chrome plating that holds itself up for decades, only needing general maintenance to keep in top condition.

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