plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
How can I strip hard chrome from different metals?
December 18, 2008
I am looking for any info on the stripping process of chrome plating from stainless steel & Inconel 718 metals. This process will be done on a pneumatic valve housing used in the aerospace industry. Our process now is we first have the chrome stripped (from an outside source), then we will pre-grind any existing chrome off. After that we will send for re-plating of the hard chrome (same outside source ), and then we will grind the chrome down to the specified dimension. So we would like to strip the initial chrome ourselves in order to streamline our process. So where I'm going with this is, what is the process, what exact chemicals to use, and any equipment involved? Also, is there a different process or method used for different types of metals?
Thanks for any help you can provide!
Machine Shop Employee - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
December 19, 2008
Hi, Jim. Chrome can be electrolytically stripped from these materials in an alkaline bath. But you might want to read up on Erin Brockovich [affil. link to Amazon] before you install such a process because you will be converting harmless chrome metal to toxic, carcinogenic, hexavalent chrome :-)
You can do it, but you might be better off leaving the handling of hexavalent chromium solutions to the plating shop and streamlining the process in a different fashion.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey