Hard chrome is an electroplated surface finish that is also known as industrial hard chrome, functional chrome, and engineering chrome. When designing machine components, engineers often combine a base metal, or substrate, with a surface finish to achieve the quality, efficiency, and reliability desired in their product. Of the numerous hard coating surface finishes available, industrial hard chrome plating continues to be one of the most popular.
Over the years, U.S. Chrome has provided electroplating services for a wide assortment of applications in every industry imaginable. Examples include bearings, housings, shafts, and numerous other components in various industries. What has defined our chrome plating services is the ability to hold tight tolerances when depositing chromium on all metal surfaces, including aluminum and titanium as well as other metal substrates.
U.S. Chrome is one of the few companies that has large hard chrome plating tanks able to accommodate up to 20 foot length and 8 tons.
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Hard chrome plating, also sometimes called chromium plating, is an electroplating process in which a layer of chromium is deposited onto a surface. This layer of chromium protects and extends the life of the part by improving wear resistance, reducing the coefficient of friction, and increasing mild corrosion resistance. These coatings can be applied in a wide range of thicknesses from as low as 0.0002” to 0.020” or more.
Other than its functional advantages of wear, temperature, and corrosion resistance, hard chrome plating provides many advantages when used by manufacturers looking for a coating solution on large scale production jobs. With the right setup, applying a hard chrome finish is quick, easy, and efficient, making turn times faster. Our investment in engineering proprietary precision plating processes allows us to offer a lower cost solution to our customers and cover those hard-to-plate areas.
We plate to many different hard chrome specifications including, but not limited to:
See more of our hard chrome specifications and certifications.
Hard chrome plating creates a harder surface than most other industrial coatings, measuring between 65-70 HRC. Industrial applications that require extremely hard surfaces to accommodate the stress of heavy use will need hard chrome. View the physical and chemical properties of hard chrome.
The key differences between chrome and hard chrome lie in the aesthetics and durability of the finishes. Chrome, also referred to as decorative chrome, is typically copper and/or nickel underlayment with a cosmetic type of chrome that is polished to give a mirror like finish. Chrome finishes are typically used on car parts, tools, and kitchen utensils.
US Chrome does not offer decorative chrome services.
Compared to decorative chrome, hard chrome is dull in looks. Where hard chrome lacks in aesthetics, it performs in durability. Hard chrome plating creates a very hard surface that is resistant to wear, corrosion and high temperatures. Hard chrome finishes are typically used in industrial applications such as hydraulics, actuator housings, and ball valves.
Hard chrome can be plated on many types of metals, but the chemistry required to do so is different depending on the substrate. This can be a difficult task to get right when plating manufactured components. U.S. Chrome is able to perform electroplating on many different surfaces including any ferrous and non-ferrous metals including chrome plating aluminum and titanium electroplating, as well as Inconel, Brass, Copper, Steel, Nickel Alloys, Cast Iron, Bronze and many more exotic metals.
Hard chrome is widely used in many applications spanning across every industry such as aerospace and agriculture equipment parts. Some common applications include hydraulics, valves, crankshafts, piston rods, bailing hooks, harvester rolls, actuator housings, injection molds, dies, rod cylinders and rollers.
We’re confident US Chrome will be your best option for your hard chrome plating applications because of our engineering approach, exceptional customer service, and regional locations. Contact us with your questions or coating challenges. We’ll help you find the right answer.