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topic 4713

Hard chrome barrel plating


I am very interested in obtaining some info. on hard chrome barrel plating.

I understand that the bath is not a conventional bath, or so I think, I can't get any real facts on this. PLEASE HELP.

ken burge
maryville, Tennessee


You can not find much on it because it is nearly impossible to do. Barrel plating has hundreds of make and break contact which is extremely bad for regular chrome.

Next, a barrel shields the parts significantly and chrome needs a virtual line of sight to the anode.

Unless you have the time to spend on a very long research process, it would be cost effective to look for other plating that would suffice such as a very bright electroless nickel.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida



You may find useful information at:

Dennis, J. K. et al, "Nickel and Chromium Plating" [link is to product info at Amazon], Third edition, p 238-240 best wishes

Mustafa Demirci
- cardif/UK


Line of sight barrel style plating is a very real possibility , and can be done. However , I cannot be sure how the chrome would react in this environment.

Ron Landrette
plating equipment supplier - Bristol, Connecticut


Years ago the supplier I was with tried to develop a "continuous chrome plater" based on open trays that vibrated to propel the parts through the tank, and "line-of-sight" to the anodes. We were were working hard on the vibration, to keep the part contacting the tray as it vibrated along, but we were not able to make the parts reliably work their way along the tray without a substantial portion of them making a periodic tiny 'hop' -- and as soon as a part hopped, laminated plating was the inevitable result.

Our conclusion then was that "line of sight" had something to do with the problem, but make-and-break contact had everything to do with it.

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


follow up to Ted's response. Ted , I agree with the laminar plating discussion ,and avoiding the make / break is critical. I believe this could be achieved with small media in sufficient qty to insure continuos contact with product being processed. Although an annoyance , cost for small media is minimal at best, so it could be considered disposable , opinion?

Ron Landrette
plating equipment supplier - Bristol, Connecticut

July 6, 2009

Hi. More power to anyone who wants to continue the research towards a barrel or other device that will make continuous chrome plating really feasible. But -- since no one ever developed a truly feasible system for decorative chrome plating -- I think such a system for hard chrome plating, where thicknesses are hundreds or thousands of times greater, seems unlikely.


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

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