What Is Chrome Plating Used For?

Chromium. That’s what people are referring to when they talk about chrome, one of the 92 chemical elements. What you’ll find is that products are never made out of solid chrome. Yes, it’s a metal but it has no use as a solid substance on its own. Instead, chrome plating – a thin layer of chrome – is used on a specific object, the bulk of that object typically being steel, although it can also be copper, brass, aluminium, plastic or stainless steel.

There are two general applications for this kind of plating – hard chrome (which you may hear referred to as functional or engineering plating) and nickel chrome (which is also known as decorative chrome plating).

Hard chrome plating

This kind of plating is usually applied as a heavy coating for wear resistance, oil retention or lubricity. Examples of this include rollers, hydraulic cylinder rods, piston rings, gun bores and more.

Decorative chrome plating

You’ll often hear this referred to as nickel chrome plating because it involves electroplating nickel onto something before the chrome is plated. The nickel gives the object in question a look of smoothness and reflectivity, as well as making it corrosion resistant.

What can be chrome plated?

Basically, whatever you want. You can have parts for classic cars, boats, bicycles and motorbikes all chrome plated, as well as everyday household items, jewellery and more. To find out if what you’ve got in mind is suitable for chrome plating, make sure you get in touch with our friendly and experienced team today.