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Features and advantages of chrome plating aluminum
Chrome plating is one of the most popular surface treatment options preferred by manufacturers. Its advantages include corrosion resistance, improved wear resistance, and use as a protective layer, making it an ideal surface treatment option. Here we look at the benefits and features of aluminum in chrome plating.
- Design freedom：New applications are possible using the combination of aluminum’s lightweight and hard chrome’s durability.
- Increased wear life: Aluminum parts offer excellent protection against corrosion but not very good wear resistance. Chrome provides rugged durability against galling, scuffing, and wear of mating parts. It is an excellent choice to improve the wear resistance of your metal parts.
- Low surface friction: Aluminum, which is prone to wear and seizure, can now benefit from chromium’s low coefficient of sliding friction. It makes it ideal for specific applications and is suitable for automotive parts.
- Attractive Appearance: Chrome plating gives your parts a shiny aesthetic. Its reflective surface looks great on products.
Using classification of chromium plating process types
There are many chrome plating processes, and different process types are used for different purposes, so let’s understand the following, classification of Chromium plating process types and applicable product types.
①Protective decorative chrome plating
Also known as decorative chrome, is thin, bright, and beautiful, usually as the outermost layer of multi-layer plating. After polishing the product’s surface with decorative chromium plating, a silver-blue mirror luster. It does not change color in the atmosphere for a long time.
This type of plating is widely used to protect and decorate parts of automobiles, bicycles, sewing machines, clocks and watches, instruments and meters, and daily-use hardware. The polished decorative chrome layer has high reflectivity to light and can be used as a reflector.
② Hard chrome plating (wear-resistant chrome) plating
Has a very high hardness and wear resistance, can extend the service life of the workpiece, such as cutting and drawing tools, and a variety of materials for pressing and casting mold, bearings, shafts, gauges, gears, etc. It can also use to repair the dimensional tolerance of worn parts. The thickness of hard chrome plating is generally 5~50μm, but it can be as high as 200~800μm. The hard chrome plating process applies to various products, such as molds, automobile piston rings, shock absorbers, etc.
③Plating milky chrome chromium layer
Milky white, low gloss, good toughness, low porosity, soft color, lower hardness than hard chrome and decorative chrome, but high corrosion resistance, so it is often used in gauges and instrument panels, mainly for plating parts that require both wear resistance and corrosion resistance.
④ Loose hole chromium plating (porous chromium)
It is the use of the chromium layer itself has the characteristics of a detailed crack after plating hard chromium and then mechanical, chemical, or electrochemical loose hole treatment, so that the crack network is further deepened and widened. The chromium layer surface is spread with wider grooves. It has wear-resistant chromium characteristics and can effectively store lubricating medium to prevent lubrication-free operation and improve the workpiece surface resistance to friction and wear. Commonly used in plating the surface of sliding friction parts under heavy pressure, such as the cylinder barrel bore of internal combustion engines, piston rings, etc.
⑤ Black chrome plating
Black color, with uniform luster, good decoration, suitable matting; higher hardness (130~350HV), 2~3 times higher wear resistance than bright nickel at the same thickness; its corrosion resistance is the same as ordinary chrome plating, mainly depending on the thickness of the middle layer. Good heat resistance, no discoloration below 300℃.
The black chromium layer can be directly plated on iron, copper, nickel, and stainless steel surfaces. To improve corrosion resistance and decorative effect, copper, nickel, or copper-tin alloy can also be used as the base layer on which black chromium plating is applied. Black chrome plating is often used for plating parts of aviation instruments and optical instruments, solar absorber panels, and daily necessities for protection and decoration.
What is the process for protective and decorative chrome plating on different materials?
Chrome plating is not only used in aluminum materials, but the process of protective and decorative chrome plating varies significantly from material to material. Let’s see what other materials can also be used in chrome plating.
The main chromium plating processes for steel, zinc alloy, and aluminum alloy are as follows.
Degreasing → washing → etching → washing → flash cyanide copper or flash nickel plating → washing → acid copper → washing → bright nickel → washing → chromium plating → washing and drying.
Weak alkali chemical degreasing → washing → dip dilute hydrofluoric acid → washing → electrolytic degreasing → washing → flash cyanide copper → washing → bright copper plating → bright nickel → washing → chromium plating → washing → drying.
Degreasing → water washing → electrolytic degreasing → water washing → secondary dip zinc → dissolving dip zinc layer → water washing a secondary dip zinc → water washing → flash cyanide copper (or pre-nickel plating) → water washing → bright copper plating → water washing → bright nickel plating → water washing → chromium plating → water washing → drying.
What are the common aluminum plating finishes?
Today, most industries rely on aluminum to produce lighter, more economical parts. There are many more uses for aluminum parts, including aluminum precision CNC machined and die cast parts. Aluminum can be treated with various finishes and chrome plated for extended durability.
In addition to the common chrome plating, what other types of surface treatment plating are available for aluminum?
Nickel plating (pearl nickel, sand nickel, black nickel), silver plating (surface silver, thick silver), gold plating, zinc plating (colored zinc, black zinc, blue zinc), copper plating (bronze drum, white tin copper, alkaline copper, coke copper, acid copper), chrome plating (white chrome, hard chrome, black chrome), etc.
What is the difference between chrome plating, nickel plating, and galvanizing?
Aluminum can be treated with a variety of finishes as well as chrome plated for extended durability. Anodized aluminum can also be chromium-plated. Chromium has excellent adhesion properties and can adhere to most surface coatings. However, it is primarily combined with chemical nickel plating. So what is the difference between chrome plating, nickel plating, and galvanizing in practice?
Definition: Galvanizing is a surface treatment technique in which the surface of a metal, alloy, or other material is coated with a layer of zinc for aesthetic and rust prevention purposes.
Features: Low cost, general corrosion resistance, silvery white color.
Definition: The method of plating a layer of nickel on metal or some non-metal by electrolytic or chemical methods is called nickel plating.
Features: beautiful, can be decorative, high price, slightly complex process, color is silver white showing yellow.
Definition: Chromium is a silvery white metal with a slight blue tint. The method of plating a layer of chromium on metal or certain non-metals by electrolytic or chemical methods is called chromium plating.
Features: There are two types of chromium plating. The first one plays a decorative role, with a bright appearance, better abrasion resistance, less rust resistance than galvanization, and better than oxidation; the second one increases the hardness, wear resistance, etc. of metal parts, which is the functionality of the parts.
V1DIECAST provides the best chrome plating solution
V1Diecast is a professional aluminum die casting company in China. We specialize in services related to die casting. Surface treatment is an essential part of the production.
Without a proper surface treatment, our carefully crafted process to ensure high-quality aluminum parts would be meaningless. We have our surface treatment shop and offer our customers one-stop service from production to post-processing and shipping so that you can trust us with the surface treatment of your parts project. We will ensure the best chrome plating solution for your aluminum parts. Contact Us Today.
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