Chrome plating (less commonly chromium plating), often referred to simply as chrome, is a technique of electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal object. The chromed layer can be decorative, provide corrosion resistance, ease cleaning procedures, or increase surface hardness. Sometimes, a less expensive imitator of chrome may be used for aesthetic purposes.
Hard chrome plating demonstrates excellent hardness and lubricity, and is the premier engineering choice to reduce friction, minimize wear and prevent galling. These characteristics are applicable for critical engineering applications, including: machine tool cutting surfaces, cylinder bores, strut rods, crankshafts and hydraulic shafts. Hard chrome is also applied to molds because of its low surface energy and resultant release properties. Chem Processing can hard chrome plate steel, aluminum, or copper materials, as well as many exotic alloys.
Hard chrome plating is an electrolytic process in which chromium is deposited onto a metal substrate giving it enhanced properties for durability, wear and hardness. The electrolytic process is generally achieved by passing an electric current through a chromic acid solution (called an electrolyte bath) between two electrodes, one of which will be the substrate which is to be plated.
The demand for functional chrome plating is mainly driven by the growth in commercial and passenger vehicle industry. Increased demand from the commercial vehicles on account of factors such as high strength and improved processes is expected to have positive impact on the market over the next nine years. Fair rate of product replacement coupled with high margins on sales and installation is expected to drive the global automotive chrome market.
Chromium plating process involves different steps which include degreasing, cleaning dirt & impurities, different types of pretreatment varying according to substrate material.