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Black electrophoretic vs. black chrome finishes

We are an industrial hardware distributor in Connecticut and we currently supply a cam lock to a customer that has a black chrome finish. We would like to change over to a black electrophoretic finish as it is less expensive and a much more standard finish for the factory that supplies it to us. The customer is asking for a comparison between the two finishes in terms of durability & coating thickness. They have also asked 'Is it anodic or Cathodic'? We do not know how to answer this question. Can you help?

Thank you

Brian Shaker
sales - Danbury, Connecticut, USA
May 5, 2010

May 6, 2010

Hi, Brian. Black chrome plating is an absolutely premium finish. Well, heck yeah, thin black paint is cheaper than black chrome :-)

Electrophoretic finishes are also called electrocoating or electropaint. You need to find out from the supplier whether the system is anodic or cathodic, but cathodic is most popular these days, so another common name for the process is catophoretic lacquer.

The thickness is probably in the same range, but paint can't be expected to resist wear like metal. Whether the substitution will be acceptable is probably a matter of whether this is your premium line where aesthetics are paramount and whether keys or other metal items are likely to scrape it. Electrophoretic finishes are fine -- they're just not black chrome :-)


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

E-coats are going to depend on what the paint is. Much of this information should be available from your e-coat supplier.

Whether or not the process is anodic or cathodic is going to be dependent upon the surface charge of the paint. Typically paints are organic-based and have a positive surface charge, in which case the process will be cathodic.

Robert H Kinner
- Toledo, Ohio
May 7, 2010

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