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topic 45683

Is Vacuum Chrome RoHS-compliant?

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A discussion started in 2007 but continuing through 2018


Q. Is Vacuum Chrome plating RoHS compliant? We are making a vacuum chrome plated appliance and are worried if it will pass.

Mike Kane
product designer - Los Angeles, California, USA


A. Yes, naturally.

Chromium metal is zero valent. The restriction applies only to hexavalent chromium compounds.

dave wichern
Dave Wichern
Consultant - The Bronx, New York


Q. I think there is a misunderstanding this is vacuum chrome plating plastic not real chrome would this be RoHS compliant?

Mike Kane
- Los Angeles


A. If it is aluminum (should be), it is totally RoHS compliant besides friendly to the environment.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico


Hi Mike,

David is saying that chromium metal is not in any oxidation state, let alone hexavalent, and only hexavalent chromium is RoHS regulated, so if it's actually chrome metal, it's not a problem. But by "vacuum chrome" you probably mean "vacuum metallized with aluminum", and aluminum is not RoHS regulated either. The organic base coat and top coat associated with vacuum metallizing would certainly be expected to be RoHS compliant as well, although I suppose it's not impossible to contaminate those coatings with a RoHS restricted substance. Good luck.

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

Cracks appear after Vacuum Chrome plating on polycarbonate

October 10, 2018

Q. I am currently doing Vacuum Chrome plating on a plastic part (PC 2805 polycarbonate) which is outer shell of a hair dryer, my problem is the part is cracking after sometime ( usually from same spot). My question is
- can this problem be related to plastic injection itself?
- does chrome plating make PC material brittle resulting in cracks?-
- or this problem is caused due to faulty chroming process?

The part where crack appears is outer shell of motor so it is constantly under some kind of vibration.
Please advise.

Many thanks in advance !!

Fu Ziyin
Buyer - China, Dongguan

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