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topic 11291

Black Chrome Plating


I need to find out more information on black chrome plating and black nickel baths. Does anyone have any suggestions on literature that could help me. Also, I have heard nothing but headaches coming from a black chrome bath. Is it possible to achieve consistent results from a black chrome bath on a wide variety of substrate materials with greatly varying Lcd areas.

Thanks in advance.

Erik Mac Kenna
- Houston, Texas


I would not define black chromium as a trouble maker, yet you have to control it and provide what is called a good "housekeeping" in order to ensure constant results. First of all, solution has to be cooled, then make sure that all the chemical parameters are within spec. The anode hooks have to be clean in order to provide good contact. Now let us get to the main question, why black chromium? In case that you need it for decorative purposes and not for solar energy, please consider other blackening solutions that do not involve 400 g/l chromium trioxide.

sara michaeli
sara michaeli signature 
Sara Michaeli
chemical process supplier
Tel-Aviv, Israel


Well in fact all we do is decorative plating and I am looking for a very black finish that is electroplated on top of nickel and copper. I am currently using an electroblack that is cyanide based. This is giving me a good color but I need the color to be as black as possible with very good wear resistance. This is why I am inquiring about black nickel and black chrome. If there are any suggestions I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Erik Mac Kenna [returning]
- Houston, Texas


Black nickel is definitely the easier process to run and maintain, however black nickel is not black. it is a very attractive charcoal grey. The biggest problem we find with black chrome, other then the fact that cooling is most important, is that after a while it no longer plates black which we think comes from nickel contamination, which is very difficult to rectify.

All the best,

trudy kastner
Trudy Kastner
electroplating service
Durban, KZN, South Africa


Are there any disadvantages to having my motorcycle's gas tank and fenders sent off to have them black chromed or onyx chromed. I checked with the owner of the co. and this is a true chroming process?
Is this black chrome more durable than the stock black paint and is it as hard as bright chrome?

Fred Melton
hobbyist - St. Louis, Missouri, USA

February , 2006

It is chrome plating so it's just as hard as chrome (for your purposes; there may be some marginal difference in an engineering situation). Send a picture when it's done.

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

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