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topic 13252

Chrome plating adhesion standards

A discussion started in 2002 & continuing through 2017 -- add your Q to bring it back to the Hot Topics page.


Q. We have a caster that is imported and one of our prospective customers gave some samples of this caster to one of our competitors, who then subjected the caster bodies (1010 steel, chrome plated) to multiple hammer strikes (I believe with a waffle faced hammer). They told our customer that our plating exhibited very poor adhesion as compared to their casters.

Hitting caster bodies with a hammer is not a standard practice; however, we need to diffuse this issue with our customer and would like to establish a chrome adhesion quality specification with our overseas supplier, but I can't seem to find a spec on the internet and our local chrome plater doesn't use one.

Is there any Chrome Plating Adhesion standard out there?

Thank you,

Roy Masters
- St. Joseph, Michigan, USA


A. ASTM B571 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet] Qualitative Adhesion Testing of Metallic Coatings includes several methods of checking adhesion.

Cynthia L. Meade
- Sylvania, Ohio, USA


thumbs up signOne standard would be to whack the caster with a waffle-faced hammer and check whether any plating peels off :-)

Sorry Roy, but I'm honestly not being facetious! In addition to ASTM and other formal adhesion standards, I've seen plating shops run every imaginable kind of ad-hoc adhesion test, from bending to chiseling to grinding to crushing in a vice to baking. The fact is, your plating should stick as well as your competitor's, and your problem is not so much that your customers are being swayed by an invalid test, but that as of right now your competitor is apparently either doing a better job of getting plating adhesion than you, or is using harder steel that isn't denting and pulling away from the plating. If you pick a different adhesion test, they'll almost surely win that one too.

Specify a waffle style, the weight of hammer, and maybe a height of drop or length of lever, and insist that your suppliers meet the performance standard your competitor meets. Best of luck.

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

July 11, 2017

Q. Can someone tell me what the proper interpretation is as to what ASTM B571 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet] adhesion test to use for Chrome Plating. Bend till legs are parallel (without Mandrel as permitted AMS2460 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet] Para. 3.4.2) or Bend to rupture. Does anyone know Nadcap's position on the test.

Bill Milla
Quality Department - Huntington Beach, California

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