Decorative chromium 

is a thin chromium deposit applied to a metallic or plastic substrate in order to impart particular surface properties:

  • Bright appearance;
  • corrosionresistance;
  • Wear resistance;
  • Scratch resistance.

Decorative chromium is thinner than hard chromium. Additionally decorative chromium depositions have micro-discontinuity (micro-porous, micro-crack) structure in contrast to hard chromium, which is normally crack-free.

Typical applications of decorative chromium Electroplating:

  • automotive parts (interior and exterior);
  • plumbing fixtures;
  • metal furniture;
  • hand tools;
  • Bicycles.

Advantages of trivalent chromium over hexavalent chromium decorative plating process:

  • Lower toxicity.Hexavalent chromium solutions are carcinogenic, oxidizing and more acidic (more corrosive) than trivalent chromium.
  • Lower chromium concentration. Chromium content in trivalent solutions is about 1/5 of that in hexavalent solutions.
  • Higher productivity.
  • Simpler process control.
  • Less sensitive to the rectifier ripple.
  • No treatments are required for formation micro-porous/micro-crack structure. Trivalent chromium deposits are micro-porous. Hexavalent chromium should be pre- or post-treated to form micro-crack structure.
  • Lower drag-out. Trivalent chromium solutions have lower viscosity therefore the parts transfers less electrolyte to the rinse baths.
  • Higher throwing power.
  • Less expensive waste treatment and ventilation systems.

Disadvantages of trivalent chromium over hexavalent chromium decorative plating process:

  • Trivalent plating solutions are more sensitive to contaminations. More frequent bath analysis is required.
  • Trivalent solution components are more expensive.
  • Limited deposit thickness.
  • Deposit color does not meet some requirements.

At present, our company have both Hexavalent chrome and Trivalent chrome.

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