What Is A Black Chrome Plating? Uses Of Black Chrome Plating
What Is A Black Chrome Plating?
Black chrome plating is a coating of chromium that has been chemically altered to achieve a black color. This type of plating is applied electrostatically to a metal surface, such as an automobile wheel or a motorcycle exhaust pipe.
The finished product is a durable, conductive, corrosion-resistant, ultra-violet light-resistant finish, which is often followed by a post-oil treatment.
Black chrome plating has been in existence for over 50 years, and was first developed by Allied Chemical in the 1960s. The early black chromium deposits were hard and more textured than decorative chrome and were used primarily on non-reflective surfaces. A post-dip in an oil solution was usually required for the metal finishing portion.
Today, black chrome is usually electroplated over bright nickel or dull nickel in the same manner as decorative chrome. This extraordinary black chrome finish provides a hard surface, which possesses corrosion and wear-resistant characteristics.
The appearance of the black chrome finish depends on the nature of the substrate and the surface treatment prior to electroplating. The finish can be lustrous, semi-lustrous, or matte and may be waxed or oiled to improve the final appearance.
Newer black chrome plating processes have been developed from a trivalent chrome process. The black color is achieved by alloying other metals with the chromium deposit.
These newer black chrome processes plate a smoother more reflective dark chrome finish that does not require a post-dip for corrosion protection.
This metal plating process provides better coverage of the entire part. The main advantages of the newer black chrome plating processes are that they do not need to be waxed or oiled to improve the final metal finish.
Uses Of Black Chrome Plating
Black chrome plating is used for a variety of applications, including decorative surfaces for visible parts of cars and motorcycles, as well as for household fixtures such as faucets. In contrast, matte finish black chrome plating is used on the insides of telescopes and microscopes and other areas where the light reflection would interfere with the operation of the device.
The black chrome finish provides a unique appearance, exhibiting not only the high reflectivity of polished chrome but also a depth not seen in other polished finishes.
Overall, Black chrome plating is a versatile process that is suitable for a wide range of applications, providing a durable, corrosion-resistant finish that is resistant to UV light. The newer black chrome plating processes are even more efficient and provide a smoother, more reflective finish that does not require post-treatment.
Maintenance For Black Chrome Plating
Black chrome plating is more delicate than regular chrome and requires special care. Clean it regularly with fresh water and a microfiber towel, avoid abrasive surfaces and chrome polish, use a safe chrome polish and a clean towel to buff it off, and finish with high-quality automotive wax that is safe for clear coats to maintain its appearance.
Black Chrome Plating Process
Chrome plating is an expensive process due to its labor-intensive and time-consuming nature. The standard triple-plating process includes cleaning and preparing an object in an electrostatic bath, followed by plating with copper, nickel, and finally chromium.
The object must be prepared for each step and the materials used in the cleaning and plating processes are hazardous and often carcinogenic, increasing costs for compliance with environmental protection standards.
Additionally, in black chrome plating, the chemical compounds used in the plating process must be modified to produce the black tint on the final chrome plate adding additional costs.