The pursuit is ongoing for a coating that is hard, wear and stress resistant, low friction, and anti-corrosive. However, for most applications, there is an easy to use, widely accessible technology readily available for nearly every level of project. Chrome has been used for decades both for its aesthetic and industrial properties. Perhaps one of the most useful benefits of chrome is it’s hardness. It’s exceedingly hard, measuring between 850-100Hv (65-70Rc). This is harder than most abrasives and steel counter faces. It is also extremely tough and can withstand a great deal of stress contact. Hard chrome also has excellent substrate adhesion. Word of caution, the substrate needs to be rigorously cleaned so that the surface is free of contaminates or even an initial reverse voltage etch would be beneficial.
Hard chrome has been applied to a number of surfaces from high-alloyed steels like stainless steels or cast irons, lightweight aluminum alloys or copper, brass, bronze, copper, and nickel alloys. If adhesion is challenging try platting it onto a layer of nickel, which will also enhance corrosion resistance. It is also possess a very low surface friction making it an ideal surface for, among other things, moving parts.
Chrome is probably one of the best finishes for abrasion resistance. Chrome has a wear rate 100x better than hardened steels or nickel alloys when tested against abrasive objects like sand, coal, grit, fiberglass, limestone, and so on. Because destructive wear is a common in most industrial environments, thick chromium deposits represent an ideal defense against this kind of destruction.
Many applications speak to the profound capabilities of chrome as a metal finish. Let us know how we can help you in your next project. Contact us at 1-888-257-0880 for more information about how we can help you.