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Everything to Know About Hard Chrome Plating and Minimizing Waste

Here at WastersBlog you might be surprised at first to read that we want you to know everything there is to know about hard chrome plating. But, we do. It's important, and that's a fact! Why is that so?

It is becoming increasingly apparent in waste management circles as companies and governments begin to create their plans for achieving the Paris 2015 accord pledge of Net Zero Carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 that very few manufacturing organisations are going to be able to get there with the current emphasis which is centred on recycling. Recycling alone is not the answer!

Recycling even when, as for metals such as iron, which can be recycled endlessly without any deterioration, requires energy. It has been assessed that energy requirements will anyway rise two to fourfold by 2050 on existing predictions, just to allow for transport vehicle electrification.

Image shows the waste hierarchy as a pyramid diagram.There is no doubt that renewable energy sources can, and will have to be ramped up to these sorts of levels. Indeed, plans are afoot to raise national energy distribution grid capacity, both for renewable gases, and electricity. These capacity increases will clearly need to match the rising demand as oil-derived fuels are phased out or else all industries will grind to a halt!

The conclusion is that all manufacturing industries will have to do much more to minimize waste and avoid recycling wherever possible, rather than just raise recycling rates. That's why technologies such as chrome plating for ultra-long-wearing durability will become an essential part of the global effort to fight climate change and turn back the clock on the climate emergency.

Please read on and consider how, within your industry, you can increase upon the already popular use of hard chrome plating, as described in our article below:

Everything to Know about Hard Chrome Plating

Hard chrome plating is among the most popular and highly utilized finishing techniques in the industry. In a nutshell, the process of plating with this material provides moderate oxidation of the surface. In simple terms, it provides good corrosion protection for coated components.

It's beneficial when used on the surfaces of complex parts, tools, die-cast metal casting, and mouldings where exposure to abrasive elements exists. Nickel can be a good alternative to hard chrome plating, but it has some downsides.

Why Chrome?

Image shows examples of hard chrome plated components.
For many years, nickel was the material of choice because of its corrosion resistance. However some recent studies have shown that nickel is not as effective as it used to be. This metal, despite its anti-corrosion abilities, is wearing down faster due to exposure to oil, grease, and harsh chemicals.

Because nickel is not as effective as it should be, many people are now looking towards hexavalent chromium plating to protect their investments. This type of coating contains five more components besides chrome. These are zinc, copper, tin, manganese, and titanium.

These elements are known for their corrosion resistance, low wear and tear properties, and low-melting-points. These features are just what you need to keep your machinery running smoothly. Their combination makes the perfect coating for industrial applications where high protection against chemicals and rust is a must.

Hexavalent chrome is an excellent material for plating because it has a very low friction coefficient. It means that the friction caused by moving parts will decrease as they move against each other. More on this chrome compound read on this web page.

Improving Component Endurance with Hard Chrome Plating

There are many benefits that you stand to enjoy when using hard chrome plating. For starters, this type of finish makes components tough and durable. It has a remarkable ability to resist chipping, peeling, and fading. This property makes chrome plating ideal for products that are exposed to very high temperatures. Some parts are suited for use in applications where the surface has to endure extreme heat, such as those used in hot-water heating systems.

When it comes to durability, hard chrome plating has been found to be as good as it gets. Some of the best features include corrosion resistance, wear and tear endurance, and the ability to combat chemicals. It performed very well after exposure to oils, different solvents, and gasoline.

As said, hard chrome plating delivers superior rust resistance. As a rule, these finishes have a much higher level of hardness than traditional chrome finishes. When exposed to moisture and different chemicals, you will find that this protective coating can withstand corrosion better than solvent-based finishes. For this reason, they are perfect for use on all kinds of metal and alloy surfaces exposed to moisture.

Image shows another example of hard chrome plated components.

Cost-Effective Final Coating

You will find that the chrome finish has excellent wear resistance. In the long run, that can save you money on maintenance and repair costs. By using this coating, you'll be able to protect your investment.

What also makes this coating economical is the fact that it can last for years and even decades. Due to its very good features and a good prep before plating, it can be left unchanged for a very long time, even when exposed to harsh weather conditions. The thickness of the chrome layer can make the only difference; the thicker it is, the longer it will last.

Looking Good

Since hard chrome plating has a much higher gloss finish, you will find that it improves the aesthetic appeal. With the proper finish, you will be able to enhance the appearance of your product. This type of finish will make it so that you can get a professional look without sacrificing functionality.

Besides achieving a decorative look (although that's not the purpose of hard chrome coating), you will find chrome layers easy to install and maintain. In fact, you can even install it yourself, making it an ideal solution for industrial applications and commercial projects.

Instructions on DIY plating with this metal are below:

Although it doesn't seem strong and durable at first glance, hard chrome plating has proven to be extremely good in many industries in which it's used. From agriculture and the automotive industry to mining equipment and tool making, this topcoat has shown all its advantages.

Image attribution: Drstuey at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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    • Joe Miller
    • 25 January 2021

    I think that this article hints at what I have been thinking for a long while, and it’s common sense. Real quality pays for itself.

    Just look at the classic car market for 50 and 60-year-old Rolls Royce vehicles. Those vehicles are still giving their owner amazing value.

    They drive comfortably, as long as they are maintained they don’t cost that much to keep going and what could be a better use of resources than that?

    Quality counts. Always buy the most durable and hard-wearing things. Less waste in the result. It’s that simple.

    • Annad Bodia
    • 18 February 2021

    Chrome Plating I have always known for its beauty of finish as there is little to match the sparkle from a well-polished chrome. So, the info here is progress in using this noble material.

  1. I think what I see here in these comments are companies who are involved in the latest trend in the use of chrome plating which is in restoration chroming for members of the public to use in their upcycling and restoration projects. We think that this is a wonderful development which helps people to extend the life of their possessions such as bykes cars, and anything else which has been chrome plated and has seen better days.

    Submit some photo’s and our estimators will send you a free estimate with our proposals and costs.

    • Patel
    • 28 February 2021

    Sir may i know the voltage and ampere you use when plating? Thankyou

    • Ashe
    • 28 February 2021

    We offer a comprehensive range of metal finishing services including electro-plating, Anodising, Phosphating, Powder Coating and much much more. We pride ourselves on our dedication.

  2. People ask which things they can get chromed, but it’s hard to make a list. The list is endless as to what we have chrome plated in the past ranging from larger items – Marine, Classic Cars, Scooters, Motorcycles and Bicycles to the smaller items like taps and general household items that the owners just wanted to give a new lease of life to. We can do everything – If you are unsure whether you can plate your item we can provide the answers.

    • Joey Spiller
    • 1 March 2021

    I recommend it. It’s a versatile process that can be applied to a wide variety of metals including High Alloy and Stainless Steel, Nickel Based Alloys, Brasses and Bronzes as well as Aluminium alloys.

  3. Yes. Hard metals are good. Plastics should be banned.

    The UK produces more plastic waste per person than almost every other country in the world – 2nd only to the US.

    British plastic is getting dumped and burned in the open air, creating serious health problems for local people. It also gets into the ocean, killing marine life like seabirds, turtles and dolphins.

    Tell government to fix our plastic waste crisis in a way that doesn’t harm people – or the planet.

    • Rameses
    • 10 May 2022

    Is there a way to reduce the buildup of hydrogen gas when plating chrome? It’s insane how many explosions I’ve been through.

  4. I find it surprising that chrome works as an excellent plating material. My friend is interested in remodeling his uncle’s old muscle car and using it for daily drives. I should talk to him about finding a chrome plating company that can restore its beautiful appearance.

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