Hard chromium plating (also called hard chrome plating, functional chrome plating, engineering chrome plating and industrial chrome plating) is an electrolytic process that covers (or plates) an object, giving it certain qualities. Among those qualities are a bright, silvery shine; strength; ability to increase the life of parts; ability to resize parts; repair and restoration of old parts; protection against corrosion and resistance against abrasion. The term "hard chrome" doesn't indicate the process is harder than decorative chrome plating; it's just thick enough a hardness that measurement may be assigned to it.
Applications for hard chromium plating include hydraulic cylinder rods and cylinders, mold surfaces, rollers, shock absorbers, piston rings, gun bores, thread guides, jet engine components, railroad wheel bearings and couplers and diesel cylinder liners. If your business requires hard chromium plating services for one of these applications--or one of many others--first think about the following:
1. Do you only need one item, or a small job, put through the hard chrome process?
2. Do you have a large job needing a hard chromium finish?
3. Do you require supplies for the hard chrome process?
Find businesses that specialize in small hard chromium plating jobsIf you have a small job (or possibly just an item or two) that requires a hard chromium finish, many hard chrome plating services won't be able to help you. Instead of seeking out the more visible, large plating operations in the United States, look for smaller professional businesses that are willing to handle small jobs.
Seek out larger companies for the hard chroming manufacturing processIf you have larger jobs that require hard chromium plating, you'll need the assistance of companies used to working big, industrial jobs. Some will only be able to handle objects of certain sizes, so make sure you ask about size and weight specifications up front.
Buy hard chromium coating suppliesPerhaps you're a provider of hard chromium plating services. If so, there are a number of good sources for a wide variety of plating supplies, including those that carry chemicals, safety supplies, new racks and manuals.
- One of the few drawbacks to plating for hard chromium is that it can be difficult to mask areas of an object that don't need coating. If this could be an issue with your project, consider alternative thermal spraying.