Chrome plating, a process that makes metal shiny
Chrome plating is the process of electroplating a thin layer of chromium on metal. Chrome plating serves two main purposes, for decoration or as a protective layer.
Generally, chromium is chemically stable and does not react with most organic acids, sulfides, and alkalis, so chromium plating can prevent corrosion, improve wear resistance, and be used as a protective layer.
In addition, the appearance of the chrome layer is very smooth, and it is often used as decorative parts, such as automotive instrumentation, interior decoration, ornaments and other parts with appearance requirements.
The process of chrome plating consists of five basic stages:
The first stage is degreasing. Degrease the metal surface with chemicals to ensure that the surface is free of components that could interfere with plating.
The second stage, cleaning. Thoroughly cleaning surfaces will help remove dirt and residue, such as tiny dust particles.
In the third stage, the underlying (plated) metal is treated to ensure that the metal surface is as smooth as possible, thereby ensuring that the plating layer maintains high integrity over a longer period of time. The commonly used methods are copper plating, nickel plating and then hanging chrome.
In the fourth stage, the metal is placed in a container containing a pretreatment solution and allowed to gradually heat up to the appropriate temperature to begin chrome plating.
In the fifth and final stage, the electroplating process begins with a solution in the vessel that mixes the chromium-containing compound and allows the compound to etch into the metal surface (via an electrochemical reaction). The thickness of the coating depends on the time the metal stays in the container.
Common chrome plating classifications are: bright chrome plating, matte chrome plating, hard chrome plating, etc.
When prepared according to current industry standards, chrome plating can withstand years of exposure to the elements. Metal bumpers on cars are a good example of electroplating, which can last for decades and require only modest maintenance. Likewise, faucets and other chrome-plated products are guaranteed a long-term polished look while also guaranteeing long-term durability. Therefore, chrome plating is also one of the most commonly used metal surface treatment processes.