Determining Your Nickel Chrome Plating Requirements

The main criteria in determining your nickel plating needs are:

  • Understanding the application
  • Confirming the corrosion requirements
  • Establishing the part specifications

Bright nickel chrome can be quite decorative and undoubtedly leads to outstanding corrosion performance. However, the layers below the bright nickel chrome surface serve an important purpose as well. They contain various metals such as high sulfur nickel, micro-porous nickel, copper/nickel strike, semi-bright nickel and more. One might wonder why so many layers are necessary. The reason behind multiple layers is mainly due to improving the level of corrosion resistance. The more layers of plating applied to the surface, the better the corrosion performance. In fact, there are certain metals that improve corrosion performance better than others. For example, high sulfur nickel layers and micro porous nickel layers are designed to highly improve corrosion resistance. In sum, the type of nickel and number of layers are key factors in improving long-term component durability.

Chromium is often recommended as a hard and corrosion resistant topcoat. It is easy to detect chromium, as bright nickel chromium often resembles a mirror, reflecting exactly as a mirror would. While Nickel plating has a white finish, chrome plating contains a translucent finish which is hard and scratch resistant. Chrome plating is often referred to as “hard” chrome plating, highlighting its high wear and corrosion resistance.