Electro-Coating's success of chromium plating – also known as hard chrome plating, engineered chrome plating, or industrial chrome plating in Industrial applications is attributed to its unique combination of multiple properties and benefits not possessed by any other one material available commercially. In many instances, all these properties are important for successful commercial applications.
The electrolytic deposition of chromium to the surfaces of other materials, primarily metals, occurs when electrical energy supplied to electrodes in a solution consisting primarily of chromic acid is converted to chemical energy to produce chromium metal.
Frequently, when expensive machined parts are damaged or worn and no longer functional, hard chrome plating can be used to build up the lost metal and the parts can then be ground to their original tolerances. In many cases the wear life will have improved.
On new parts hard chrome is used to improve the durability of a variety of components of industrial equipment. The printing industry makes use of copper engraved plates and cylinders which are hard chrome plated for corrosion and wear resistance. Oil exploration equipment and production machinery of all types have many of their component parts chrome plated to extend their in-service life and to reduce costly downtime. Hydraulic equipment utilizes chrome plated shafting to extend service life in corrosive industrial environments.
Any ferrous and most non-ferrous metals are suitable for chrome plating. Exceptions are magnesium and titanium, which usually require an under-layer of zinc, copper or nickel as well as special plating techniques. Aluminum can be successfully chrome plated, but usually requires a copper or nickel under-layer, although some alloys have been plated without an undercoat. In recent years, new techniques have permitted the application of decorative chrome on plastics.