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topic 60882

Chrome thickness too low in Copper-Nickel-Chrome Plating

October 30, 2018

Q. We have a component of brass.
Customer requires 3 microns of copper + 20 microns of Nickel + 4 microns of chrome.
Copper and Nickel are okay, but we're not able to get chrome. The maximum we have done until now is 0.3 microns.
Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.

Ebanezer Jacob
Ebanezer Jacob
forging & turning of brass - Gujarat, India

October 2018

A. Hi Jacob. Typical decorative chrome is probably less than 0.3 microns, and some specs like FED-QQC-320 (although now void) say that decorative chrome on brass should not be over 1.3 microns.

But this may be a hybrid application, neither strictly decorative copper-nickel-chrome nor hard chrome. I have heard that such hybrid finishes are used on motorcycle struts/shocks in India, in which case the nickel underlayer assists corrosion resistance while the chrome layer is thick enough to resist wear (but that's on hardened steel, not brass).

When you say you are not able to get that thickness what does that actually mean? You can't get it in the time you are allotting, or the plating flakes off, or it simply stops building up, or what? Thanks.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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