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Understanding Industry Terms

When it comes to engineering, chrome, chromium plating and more, there are a lot of technological terms one may not be all that familiar with. It’s important to understand the meaning of all industry terms and recognize the difference in each process.

For example, engineering chrome. Engineering chrome is a thick layer of chrome that is directly applied to the base material. While it has a metallic, shiny exterior, it is generally not used to enhance the appearance of items. Take cylinder rods, rollers, piston rings and gun bores for example.

Decorative chrome on the other hand is, well, more decorative – exactly as it states. Decorative plating involves a copper and nickel underlayment with a thinner layer of chromium. This provides smoothness, corrosion resistance and reflectivity, like you’d see on plated wheels or truck bumpers.

electroless nickel plating process

Things get more complex when recognizing the differences between hard chrome, flash chrome and thin dense chrome.

Hard chrome plating is more suitable for durable wear applications because they require a corrosion protection, a reduced coefficient friction and oftentimes need a post plate machine operation in order to achieve the specified size and surface finish.

Flash chrome plating is a very thin layer of chrome, which is suitable for applications that are exposed to light wear and require corrosion protection, a reduced coefficient friction, improved release properties and tight tolerances. Read more about hard chrome vs flash chrome.

Lastly is thin dense chrome. Dense chrome is electroplated chromium which is created by using specific bath chemistry to produce a uniform coating thickness, all while maintaining tight tolerances.

U.S. Chrome does a lot of specialty work whether it’s chrome plating for piston rods, hydrogen embrittlement relief baking or anything in between. The end result is always a high-quality finish exactly each customers specifications. That’s exactly why it’s important to understand these key industry terms so you can go into the process knowing exactly what U.S. Chrome has to offer.

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