Polish Craft have previously spoken about hard chrome plating and its advantages.
However, the process of hard chrome plating is done in the following stages:
- Degreasing to remove heavy soiling
- Manual cleaning to remove all residual traces of dirt and surface impurities
- Many pretreatments depending on the substrate
- Placement into the chrome plating vat, where it’s allowed to warm to solution temperature
- Application of plating current for the required time to attain the thickness required
There are a variety of modifications to this process entirely dependant on the type of substrate that is being plated. Other substrates may need other etching solutions including hydrofluoric, hydrochloric, and sulfuric acid. Ferric chloride is also popular for the etching of Nimonic alloys and there are times where the component will enter the chrome plating vat electrically live.
Typically, a hard chrome vat will plate about 1 mil (25 μm) per hour.
Various linishing and buffing processes are then used in preparing components for any decorative chrome plating. The overall appearance of decorative chrome plating is only as good as the preparation of the component.