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How the chroming effect is done

A buddy and I are interested in knowing how the chroming effect is done. I understand you need vats for the different treatments, but how do I find out mixtures of chemicals? What percentage of which? Is there any way to learn this whole procedure? Thank you for any information. Jason Summers

Jason Summers
South Carolina

Hi, Jason,

Yes, you can learn the whole procedure but the problem is that there is an awful lot to it and it's a mistake to think that the names & percentages of the chemicals is the central piece of knowledge you need. Sort of like believing that the central piece of knowledge in brain surgery is the names of the various saws & scalpels and where you buy them :-)

If you can start by skimming two or three plating books, and monthly issues of the journals serving the industry for a few months, and then attend some American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers Society meetings, you would demonstrate to yourself the level of interest and commitment that would allow you to proceed.

But, in addition to the equipment (and it's not cheap) and the industrial building in which to locate it, you need EPA permits, a wastewater treatment system, an exhaust ventilation system, and know-how that results from hands-on experience. Even if you acquire optimum equipment, and make up the chemicals exactly as described in the books, the first piece you take through the line will be a reject--and then what will you do?

If it suits your life situation, why not get a job at a plating shop for several months or a year and decide if this is what you really want to do, while simultaneously learning what you need to know -- and without generating costly scrap and ending up with tanks full of hazardous waste that will cost you thousands of dollars to dispose of. Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Two good books to source are:
1) Handbook of Hard Chromium Plating by Robert Guffie and

Nickel and Chromium Plating [affil link on Amazon] by Dennis and Such

If your interest is primarily Functional Chromium Plating, the AESF has an excellent course, which covers virtually every aspect. Regards

Ken Lemke
Ken Lemke
Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Hi, after the courses are complete and the books are read . To start up a chrome plating business, what is a ball park fig. on equipment, permits, etc.

Ken Evans
Metal sales - New Jersey, USA


Naturally, it depends on what range of chrome plating services you want to offer, how large the parts will be, what shape the building is already in, what level of automation, whether you can farm out some polishing or want to include it in-house, etc, Ken. Our chrome plating tutorial will give you some appreciation of these issues. But I think a half million dollars is a good figure for a pretty small startup. And having spent most of my career designing plating lines and plating plants, I'm scratching my head trying to remember if anyone ever told me my estimate was high, although many told me it was low :-)
Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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