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Outdoor finish for large diameter wire

May 10, 2012

Q. s there a good finish to use for a typical outdoor application for large wire size chrome alloy (silicon/vanadium about .273")? The outdoor application is exposed to general rain and wash. I was debating on chrome and powder coating based on pricing. Can you advise? Thanks a mil.

Tim Roe
- Los Angeles, California, USA

May 11 2012

A. Hi, Tim. I don't pretend to understand what you are describing yet. It's just solid chrome alloy wire? Not stranded or welded or anything? No wear?

The moment you say "based on pricing", nickel-chrome plating is almost always the wrong choice. Not only is it rather expensive compared to most other finishes, but because nickel is cathodic to many other materials, possibly including your silicon/vanadium. A flawless nickel-chrome plating can last a very long time in difficult environments, but in the event of the smallest penetration, most substrates will corrode in an attempt to cathodically protect the plating.

A properly pretreated substrate with good powder coating should do fine outside, but if the wire is stranded or there are other opportunities for pinholes or lack of coverage, it probably should be e-coated first.


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

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