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topic 7675

Nickel-Free Plating Operations with Chrome or Chrome-Like Finish


I am currently seeking a nickel-free chrome or chrome-like (in appearance) plating for magnesium substrate parts. We are concerned with allergy concerns regarding nickel usage in our components due to the direct contact with skin that our parts experience. Does anyone know of nickel-free plating techniques that are available or in development?

Davin Saderholm
- Foothill Ranch, California


Well, there is one thing that looks like chrome, only better, and that's rhodium. Maybe you could plate one of the whitish ternary alloys, then top off with a flash of rhodium.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey


In Germany are white bronze alloys used to substitute nickel due to allergy cases.

One question to the rhodium flash as substitute of chrome: What is the colour about? Can the metallic - blue appearance of chrome be imitated by a rhodium flash?

With best regards,

Michael Hekli


I've never looked at rhodium and chromium side-by-side, but I think they would be poorly matched, with the rhodium being more reflective and silvery colored--less blue and less dark. There are proprietary cobalt based substitutes for chromium that are bluer than rhodium (but not nicer looking, I don't think anything is prettier than rhodium).

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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