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Introduction To Chromium Plating

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Introduction To Chromium Plating

Laura Lee
October 1, 2013


Chrome plating, also referred to as chromium plating is a method that seeks to add a thin layer of the compound chromium onto surfaces through the method of electrolysis or electroplating.

Why do chrome plating:
It helps to restore the glossy look of surfaces. For example if metal has corroded, it is usually cleaned and chromium is applied. Secondly, you can also use it in bathroom and kitchen utilities such as taps and sinks. It prevents surfaces from tainting and corroding easily.

In addition to that, there are two different types of chrome plating. This type of plating seeks to utilize a small amount of chrome. Therefore, levelling chrome on the surface is easy making it the better choice in decorating surfaces.

This type of plating is thicker than the decorative plating. Through that feature, it is more durable in terms of wearing out. It is not used to decorate surfaces as it lacks the levelling factor since it is applied in large quantities on a surface to obtain thickness.

Clean the surface so as to remove dirt residue and grease. Use of pre-treatments that will ensure the surface is clean. It is important to know that there are several pre-treatments and they all depend on the substrate being used. Some of the substrates include: hydrochloric and sulphuric acids.

This allows for the heating to the specified solution temperatures. Apply the chromium plating to the surface.

With that said it is very important to take caution as you do the plating process. This is because the product is very toxic and can be hazardous the minute that you do not handle it well. The steps below will ensure that your safety is optimal.

Always wear protective equipment for your nose, hands as well as your eyes. This includes eye goggles, nose mask, rubber gloves and heavy clothing. Always be sure to keep away chemicals that can cause to chromic acid in chromium to react. Some of these chemicals include potassium, hydrogen sulphides, phosphorus, alcohol and sulphur etc.

Aim to follow the stated disposal regulations while handling chemicals. Chromium is very toxic when handles irresponsibly. Ensure that you always have an aid kit. In the event something happens you can perform first aid immediately.

Due to the chemical compounds that are in chromium, it is highly advisable to avoid skin contact. Always handle the products while you have your rubber gloves on. Secondly, ensure that you do not inhale the chemical fumes. They can choke you to death. While plating, ensure that you keep away products that are highly flammable. This is because the chromic acid is highly reactive.


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