chrome plated parts

The Benefits of Chrome Plating

The best defense against corrosion and wear on a machine is a chrome-plated finish. A chromium metal finish extends the life of your parts, despite high-friction environments. Chrome plating provides protection in environments that are conducive to corrosion in other base materials.


What is Chrome Plating?


Chrome plating is an electrochemical process for depositing the metal chrome where it is needed or desired. Chrome plating is more than just an aesthetic enhancement, although it does look pleasing to the eye. Chrome plating can increase the hardness and durability of the surface, prevent corrosion and even make it easier to clean.


The process includes degreasing a surface to clean it and remove prior buildup. Some substrates, or surface metals, require pretreatment to ensure proper adhesion. The part is then placed into a chrome-plating tank.


What types of industrial equipment benefit from chrome plating?


Hydraulic cylinders
Automotive components
Mining equipment
Shafts and rotors


These are just a few examples of applications that could benefit from the protection of a hard chrome-plating. Any part exposed to mechanical friction or corrosion is a candidate. Chrome can be successfully applied to nearly any kind of metallic surface, such as aluminum, copper, nickel alloys, titanium, steel, and stainless steel.


Chrome plating is ideal for equipment exposed to caustic elements. Chrome mitigates the risk of rust and enforces the strength of the base material. Chrome also offers high lubricity to prolong the life of a machine by reducing friction. Not only does chrome prevent wear on the machine, but it also provides the benefit of added performance. Less friction means smoother functioning with reduced risk of overheating.


Providing better functionality, the coating reduces the risk of a machine seizing and will also restore some size to worn parts, in some cases returning them to their original dimensions.


Chrome plating is often used on commercial or industrial vehicle parts exposed to the weather. It helps the parts of the vehicle resist normal wear and decay that occurs due to constant exposure to the elements. Additionally, a chrome-plated piece enhances performance, increases durability, and allows equipment to function more smoothly over the longer product lifecycle of an industrial or commercial machine.


How long does Chrome plating take?


The time depends on the amount of chrome needed. Thin deposits only take minutes, whereas thicker coatings can take several days.


How can chrome plating affect the life of your equipment? 


Chrome has great friction and hardness properties so it can be used where things are moving and coming together. It will protect against the wear and tear caused by friction and increase the machine’s efficiency, due to reduced heat build-up as well as a reduced propensity for malfunction.


What constraints are involved in plating something?


Size is a major constraint. The area that is being plated must fit in the tank. You must have equipment that can handle the weight. The rectification must be large or small enough. Chrome plating uses a lot of electricity compared with other types of plating.


Price can also be a constraint. The process can be very expensive, or it can be very economical. The finish will only look as good as the surface below it. As a result, the application’s surface needs to be cleaned and smoothed before applying the finish. Otherwise, the finish will preserve any blemishes. In addition to the cost of the plating process, there is considerable cost in just preparing the part for the application.


Can you re-plate something that was previously plated?


If you have a part that was previously chrome-plated and is beginning to wear, it can be re-plated. Remember, chrome-plating is used to rework or to salvage existing parts. Hydraulic rods are reconditioned all the time. Internal combustion parts like valves, mechanical fuel injectors, fuel pumps, and turbochargers are reconditioned by businesses that are started for specifically that purpose. It is important to have a part reconditioned before the chrome wears through and damage is inflicted upon the substrate.


Are there different types of chrome-plating?


Yes, the chrome you’re likely familiar with is a decorative chrome that you might see on a car’s wheels. This is a separate type of treatment that does not provide many of the benefits we’ve listed above. For that reason, ChromeTech focuses more on practical, value-added hard-chrome plating rather than vanity chrome.


ChromeTech of Wisconsin specializes in Hard or Industrial Chrome


Industrial chrome has added thickness and friction-reduction qualities. Industrial chrome helps prevent oxidation and machine seizure.


What can Chrome Plating be Applied to?


Chrome plating has the advantage of being able to adhere to a variety of different pieces of machinery. The process allows for the application of chrome to many different surfaces, shapes, and sizes.


Chrome plating has many benefits, from efficiency to aesthetics, but the application needs to be completed by a professional. If you want your equipment to look nicer, you want to reduce aging, wear and tear, friction or inefficient operation, contact a professional about finishing your machinery with a chromium surfacing.