One of the plating options that we offer is chrome, which is a technique of electroplating. Chrome plating is when a thin layer of chromium is applied onto a metal or plastic object. It is important to understand the different options of chrome electroplating. Chrome Class A, for example, is a decorative chrome plating, and is the highest quality, most reflective, polished finish of its kind.
You will often see chrome plating used in the automotive industries. Not only can chrome plating be decorative, but it also provides incredible corrosion resistance, increases the surface hardness and makes cleaning easier.
There are two basic categories of chrome plating, both in which Bend Plating specializes: hard chrome and decorative chrome.
More than for decorative purposes, hard chrome is primarily used for hardness and protection. It increases wear resistance, lubricity and oil retention. While not necessarily harder than decorative plating, it is much thicker. For this reason, a hardness test can be conducted on hard chrome but not on decorative chrome (which is only millionths of an inch thick). Hard chrome is mostly applied on hardened steel products. It is metallic and shiny in appearance.
Decorative chrome plating refers to a thin layer of chrome over a nickel-plated substrate.
This type of chrome plating has several different classes, all indicating the decorative finish:
- Chrome Class A, Class B and Class C are all highly polished surfaces, with Class A chrome being the highest quality of the polished options. Class C is noticeably less smooth and reflective than Class A. Class A chrome, often referred to as Class 1 surface finish, is used when a highly reflective, mirrored surface is desired.
- Class G is a more grained or brushed surface.
Whatever class surface specification you need, the experienced Bend Plating team is here for all of your plating needs.