Black Chrome has been in existence for over 50 years. Developed by Allied Chemical in the 1960's, the early black chromium deposits were hard and more textured than decorative chrome. The black chrome finishes were used on non-reflective surfaces and usually required a post-dip in an oil solution for the metal finishing portion.
Black chrome is usually electroplated over bright nickel or dull nickel in the same manner as decorative chrome. This extraordinary black chrome finish provides a hard surface, which possesses corrosion and wear resistant characteristics. The appearance of the black chrome finish depends on the nature of the substrate and the surface treatment prior to electroplating. The finish can be a lustrous, semi-lustrous or a matte. The finish may be waxed or oiled to improve the final appearance.
Newer black chrome plating processes have been developed from a trivalent chrome process. The black colour is achieved by alloying other metals with the chromium deposit. The newer black chrome process plate a smoother, more reflective, dark chrome finish that does not require a post dip for corrosion protection. This metal plating process provides better coverage of the entire part. The main advantages of the newer black chrome plating processes are that they do not need to be waxed or oiled to improve the final metal finish.
Black chromes can be plated over bright nickel, satin nickel, or dull nickel. Each of these plating combinations will develop a different appearance from a bright shiny black to a dull matte black finish. The automotive specification calling out Dusk Chrome is a combination of a satin nickel coating and a black chrome finish.