Home BlogEffective Chrome Plating and How the Electroplating Process Works

Effective Chrome Plating and How the Electroplating Process Works

Effective Chrome Plating and How the Electroplating Process Works

Integrating process tanks within electroplating systems are vital to successful plating solutions. We’re no stranger to this concept at Eastman Manufacturing as we’ve fabricated plating tanks for a number of unique applications, including chrome plating tanks.

Before touching upon a project of our own, it’s important we lay out the fundamental concepts behind electroplating and why chrome plating solutions are so widely sought after.

What Is Electroplating?

The act of depositing a thin layer of metal onto a substrate metal – usually for aesthetics and/or increased functionality - is at the heart of what electroplating entails. This is fundamentally different from layering the metal substance - for instance chrome - through spraying, as is done in painting. Instead, what happens in electroplating is the chrome is deposited onto the substrate by way of electrical current.


Electroplating can be conducted in a number of ways, yet the use of process tanks continues to dominate large and small-scale industries. Why? Scalability. The electroplating process can be economically scaled to accommodate high-volume facilities or for hobbyists that are keen to restore aged parts.


Within this tank sits a liquid containing the dissolved to-be-deposited metal, chromium in this case. This solution is a conductive intermediary in which a low DC voltage is administered when the metal substrate is submerged, allowing for the electrolytic process of dissolved metal ions to deposit on the metal component.


Why Chrome Plating?

There exist no shortage of reasons as to why chrome plating can be a valuable investment. You may be most familiar with its aesthetic appeal, otherwise known as decorative chrome plating; however, there exists another dimension to this tale in the form of engineered chrome.


Engineered Chrome Is Associated With a Number of Distinct, Functional Advantages:


  • Corrosion and rust resistant
  • Increased surface hardness
  • Reduce galling
  • Reduced friction
  • Increased durability


Functional chrome like this comes with a thicker application (0.02 – 0.1 mm) compared to its decorative counterpart (0.002 – 0.02 mm). With increased plating thickness comes a higher propensity to develop surface defects and roughness. We recommend working alongside an established manufacturer to fabricate process tanks around your specific application, helping to minimise such occurrences by encouraging uniform deposition. Capabilities like these are part and parcel of the work we carry out at Eastman Manufacturing…


Project: A Fully Bussed Chrome Plating Tank

We were contracted by a local automotive supplier to design, fabricate, and install chrome plating/process tanks within their facility. Not only was this work to be done to exact specifications, it also had to be completed during a scheduled facility shutdown so as to keep downtime to a minimum.


Finished chrome plating tank installed on-site


The lining that was agreed upon for the process tanks was PVC - renowned for being able to withstand the chemically abrasive conditions of electroplating, all while being economically viable. PVC’s easy installation also made it a no-brainer to adapt to the confines of the project, a quick solution for a quick turnaround.  


Industry Leading Results Starts with Customised Equipment

We provide a vast assortment of chemical processing equipment that can be custom fabricated in any number of dimensions, whether it be a 12” square or 40’ long tanks. Our turnkey approach for clients ensures that we have experts at hand to help lay out your concept, process solution, material handling requirements, all the way through to installation. Reach out and put our expertise to use for you!