Electroless Nickel or Hard Chrome?  These are two popular options for plating, but which one is the better option?  In this blog, we will explain the pros & cons to both options.

Electroless Nickel or Hard ChromeWhat is the Electroless Nickel Plating?

Electroless Nickel (EN) is the plating of nickel alloy deposits on to a substrate, by using a chemical reduction process.  It differentiates itself from electrolytically plated nickel coatings, because it is produced without externally applied electric current.  Electrolytically plated nickel is done by applying electric currents to catalytic metallic or catalyzed non-metallic substrates.

EN is applied to a wide variety of metallic and non-metallic substrates.  Both simple and complex geometries can be plated. The most typical substrates are aluminum and steel.

Hard ChromeWhat is Hard Chrome Plating?

Hard Chrome, or simply chrome, is electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal or plastic object.  It can also be known as industrial chrome or engineered chrome and is used to reduce friction, improve durability through abrasion and wear resistance in general.

Chrome is also notably used as a decorative coating.  It is aesthetically pleasing and you see it used a lot of different ways.

Do I need Electroless Nickel or Hard Chrome?

To put it simply, it will all come down to your needs.

Both options have their benefits.

Electroless Nickel Benefits

  • Improve durability.
  • Wear resistant.
  • Minimize galling or seizing of parts.
  • Acts as a barrier layer to prevent the substrate alloy from affecting the surface finish.
  • Prevents rust and other corrosion.
  • Can be used on simple and complex geometries.
  • Improves characteristics that are required for appearance.
  • Used in sophisticated engineering applications.
  • Can sustain in harsh environments.

Hard Chrome Benefits

  • Improve durability.
  • Wear resistant.
  • Minimize galling or seizing of parts.
  • Oxidation resistance.
  • Bulking material for worn parts to restore original dimensions.
  • Very hard.

Which One Do You Pick?

If you are not sure which option is the best for you, it is best to talk to an industry expert.  Here at Franke Plating Works, we have been plating since 1930.  We offer a multitude of plating services.  Give us a call today at 260-422-8477 and we will help you figure out which plating method is the best for your needs.  You can also email us at info@frankeplatingworks.com