Chrome plating is the process of electroplating a layer of chrome onto a base metal.
(Pixabay / code83)
Chrome plating is used for:
- Adding a decorative finish
- Providing corrosion-resistance
- Making an object harder and more durable
The basic steps of chrome plating include the following:
- Cleaning the substrate to remove all impurities
- Pre-treating the substrate (treatment depends on the base material)
- Placing the substrate in the chrome plating solution
- Applying electrical current for a specified amount of time to attain a desired plating thickness
The most common types of chrome plating are:
- Decorative. This type of plating adds durability as well as a smooth, bright finish to components. It is easy to clean and is often used on car parts and kitchen utensils.
- Hard chrome. Also known as industrial chrome, this type of plating is used to make a component more durable and resistant to friction. It is usually thicker than decorative chrome plating.
Hard chrome plating is in a class of its own when it comes to durability and corrosion-resistance. Chrome-plated elements can stand strong in spite of mechanical wear-and-tear and harsh environments. Hard chrome plating is a popular choice for industrial applications, including automotive and mechanical parts, hydraulic cylinders and pistons, press punches and tooling, mining and agricultural equipment, and shafts and rotors for pumps.
Chrome can be plated on a wide range of metals that other materials won’t adhere to (including stainless steel, copper, and brass). It can also be applied at low temperatures so that it won’t degrade the substrate. It can coat components with irregular shapes, including holes and bores.
Chrome plating chemicals can be highly toxic and must be disposed of according to regulations. For a strong, hard finish that will withstand friction and corrosion or add an attractive luster, however, chrome is hard to beat.
Contact Gold Plating Services for electroplating systems for your chrome plating needs.