Bending Chrome Plated Steel TubingAugust 29, 2012
Q. Shipping for the chrome plated bent tubing is expensive. I would like to bring it in and bend it in house, but I need the plating to remain decorative. Is this possible?Robin Wong
Project Leader - Chicago, Illinois, USA
A. Hi Robin.
I don't think this is a good path to pursue. Although plating which has good adhesion will not easily separate from the substate, and a small amount of deformation in incidental metal working is probably okay, this is a questionable route for any plating but most especially for a barrier layer anodic plating like nickel-chrome. If you induce any porosity, the steel will rust wildly in an attempt to cathodically protect the plating.
Now you've made me wonder whether my ludicrously rust-prone chrome bicycle fenders were plated before forming :-)
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey