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Bending Chrome Plated Steel Tubing

August 29, 2012

Q. Shipping for the chrome plated bent tubing is expensive. I would like to bring it in and bend it in house, but I need the plating to remain decorative. Is this possible?

Robin Wong
Project Leader - Chicago, Illinois, USA

August 29, 2012

A. Hi Robin.

I don't think this is a good path to pursue. Although plating which has good adhesion will not easily separate from the substate, and a small amount of deformation in incidental metal working is probably okay, this is a questionable route for any plating but most especially for a barrier layer anodic plating like nickel-chrome. If you induce any porosity, the steel will rust wildly in an attempt to cathodically protect the plating.

Now you've made me wonder whether my ludicrously rust-prone chrome bicycle fenders were plated before forming :-)


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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