Home Chrome: Industrial Hard Chrome Plating

Hard Chrome Plating

Electro-Coating's success of chromium plating – also known as hard chrome plating, engineered chrome plating, or industrial chrome plating in Industrial applications is attributed to its unique combination of multiple properties and benefits not possessed by any other one material available commercially. In many instances all these properties are important for successful commercial applications. 

The properties of chromium are most desirable as metal coatings due to their inherent protective and decorative characteristics. Chromium deposits with excellent adhesion to a variety of base metals. It has a pleasing bluish-white color and is highly resistant to oxidation or tarnishing, contributing to its popularity as a decorative coating. In addition, hardness, wear resistance and low co-efficient of friction are the properties that make chromium of value in practically every major industry. When identified as industrial hard chrome, it is differentiated from decorative applications, and is primarily applied to a substrate material for the purpose of wear resistance.

4 Chrome Plating Processes by Electro-Coatings


Learn more about our distinct
4 Chrome Plating Processes.

What is Industrial Hard Chrome?

The electrolytic deposition of chromium to the surfaces of other materials, primarily metals, occurs when electrical energy supplied to electrodes in a solution consisting primarily of chromic acid is converted to chemical energy to produce chromium metal.

Frequently, when expensive machined parts are damaged or worn and no longer functional, hard chrome plating can be used to build up the lost metal and the parts can then be ground to their original tolerances. In many cases the wear life will have improved.

On new parts hard chrome is used to improve the durability of a variety of components of industrial equipment. The printing industry makes use of copper engraved plates and cylinders which are hard chrome plated for corrosion and wear resistance. Oil exploration equipment and production machinery of all types have many of their component parts chrome plated to extend their in-service life and to reduce costly downtime. Hydraulic equipment utilizes chrome plated shafting to extend service life in corrosive industrial environments.

Unique Combination of Properties

The success of hard chrome plate in Industrial applications may probably be attributed to its unique combination of properties not possessed by any other one material avail­able commercially. The most important of these are hard­ness, adhesion, wear resistance, non-wetting qualities, and low coefficient of friction. In many instances all these proper­ties are important for successful commercial applications.

The hardness alone would not be sufficient to secure widespread use, because a number of other hard mater­ials, or hardening processes are available. It is the com­bination of very great hardness with extremely good corro­sion resistance, and very low coefficient of friction or unique surface qualities, which has given such remarkable results ln many applications of chromium plate. To this should be added the ease of stripping and replating for repeated salvage in cases where the plating wears beyond permissible limits.

Properties and Benefits of Industrial Hard Chrome Plating

  • Wear & abrasion resistance
  • Lubricity
  • Hard­ness
  • Durability
  • Adhesion & bonding
  • Low coefficient of friction in metal parts
  • Prevents seizing & galling 
  • Restores the dimensions of undersized parts
  • Extends equipment in-service life, reducing costly downtime

Military Specification

Military Specification QQC-320 governs the use of both hard chrome and decorative chrome in military and air­craft applications.

Materials Suitable for Chrome Plating

Any ferrous and most non-ferrous metals are suitable for chrome plating. Exceptions are magnesium and titanium, which usually require an under-layer of zinc, copper or nickel as well as special plating techniques. Aluminum can be successfully chrome plated, but usually requires a copper or nickel under-layer, although some alloys have been plated without an undercoat. In recent years, new techniques have permitted the application of decorative chrome on plastics.


The data and Information presented are based on our experience to date. The material is intended as a guide for use at your discretion. ACME Holdings or its operating divisions assume no liability in connection with this material.