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topic 11007

Olive drab Chromate Coating


Q. Specified for this project are cadmium plated and protected with olive-drab chromate coating in accordance with FS QQ-P-35C [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency,], II, class 3. Is the olive drab coating of any use without the chromate coating? And would you have the same or equivalent protection with the chromate coating without the olive drab?

William Jones
W.M.Schlosser - Virginia Beach, Virginia


A. Hi William. The 'olive drab' IS the 'chromate coating'. Chromates are available in clear, yellow, black, and olive drab . Of them all, the olive drab chromate affords the most corrosion protection because it is the thickest and contains the most hexavalent chromium compounds.

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

Is Olive drab chromate UV-resistant?

October 27, 2014

Q. Can you please explain to me what the level of UV resistance is if Trivalent Clear Chromate (MFZn13TC) + Olive Chromate (MFZn 13 G) are used on an exterior vehicle component?

Derick Hickley
car mfgr - Pretoria South Africa

October 2014

thumbs up signHi Derick. That's an excellent question to which I don't know the answer :-(

Back in 2001, the color of olive drab chromate came from the hexavalent chrome in it; and olive drab was widely used on rough service military equipment, so I was pretty confident of its UV resistance. But in these days of trivalent chromating, any coloration is usually just a dye, and organic dyes tend to not have much UV resistance -- so I'd love to know the answer myself :-)


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

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