What is the Hard Chromium Electroplating Process?

Jul 02, 2021

What is the Hard Chromium Electroplating Process?

Hard Chromium Electroplating - In hard plating, a relatively thick layer of chromium is deposited directly on the base metal (usually steel) to provide a surface with wear resistance, a low coefficient of friction, hardness, and corrosion resistance, or to build up surfaces that have been eroded by use. Hard plating is used for items such as hydraulic cylinders and rods, industrial rolls, zinc die castings, plastic molds, engine components, and marine hardware.

The hard chromium electroplating process consists of pretreatment, alkaline cleaning, acid dipping, chromic acid anodizing, and chromium electroplating. The pretreatment step may include polishing, grinding, and degreasing. Degreasing consists of either dipping the part in organic solvents, such as trichloroethylene or perchloroethylene, or using the vapors from organic solvents to remove surface grease. Alkaline cleaning is used to dislodge surface soil with inorganic cleaning solutions, such as sodium carbonate, sodium phosphate, or sodium hydroxide. Acid dipping, which is optional, is used to remove tarnish or oxide films formed in the alkaline cleaning step and to neutralize the alkaline film. Acid dip solutions typically contain 10 to 30 percent hydrochloric or sulfuric acid. Chromic acid anodic treatment, which also is optional, cleans the metal surface and enhances the adhesion of chromium in the electroplating step. The final step in the process is the electroplating operation itself.