Many industries today use old systems that have been in operation for the last 20 years. It makes the plants’ machinery and equipment susceptible to wear and tear, which can cause interruptions of operations. There are costly financial implications of constant maintenance and downtime. Also, industries struggle to provide quality products and services to customers.
Additionally, there have regulations focusing on how contaminants are managed in industries. These factors can impact your choice of custom tank liners. In this article, we’ll be looking at how hard chrome plating can be beneficial to plants today.
Applied to a Wide Range of Metal
Hard chromium plating is a process where an electrical current is passed through chromium acid. A catalytic effect produces the metal from an acid bath. The electroplating process aims to deposit metallic chrome onto the target surface.
The process makes it possible to control the chemical composition and the electrical flow to find the right thickness for your applications. Different types of catalysts may be added to achieve higher corrosion resistance or hardness.
One advantage of plating with chromium is that you can use it on a wide range of metals. Today, the process is applied to copper, brass, steel, among others. Steel has a favorable mechanical strength and can withstand high temperatures. But the material cannot withstand corrosive chemicals unless it is coated with a suitable material.
Even stainless steel can be susceptible to corrosion, especially if exposed to harsh chemicals at high temperatures. In other words, plating tanks with chromium allows plants to take advantage of the properties of metals. The metallic materials would, otherwise, not be used for such applications.
Suitable for Irregular Shapes and Surfaces
One advantage that chromium plating has over other corrosion-resistant tank lining is that it can adhere to surfaces with irregular shapes and geometries. That is because the process of electroplating allows for measured amounts of chromium to be deposited on the surface.
The thickness typically is within the range of 2 to 250µm. Although for corrosion resistance, the minimum thickness should be between 80 and 120 µm. Also, various types of hard-chrome coatings can be created from the electrochemical process. They include cracked, porous, crack-free, and micro-porous chromium.
The plating can be applied to holes, bumps, and crevices. Chromium-plated surfaces can have a consistent finish that is attractive and easy to clean. Additionally, chrome is not susceptible to oxidation, rust, or corrosion. That means it is more suitable for use in a wide range of applications.
Applied at low Temperatures
Another advantage of a hard chrome coating is the low process temperature. The electrochemical process does not require a lot of heat like other custom tank liner processes such as HVOC (High-Velocity Oxygen-Fuel).
High temperatures can be problematic when coating surfaces. Heat can accelerate the process of oxidation, which can compromise the underlying material. Also, the higher the temperature, the more likely that oxidation will interfere with the process.
The low-process temperatures also mean that hard chromium plating is possible where the underlying material would, otherwise, make it impractical. Even metallic parts can melt in processes like HVOF that may require temperatures over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Simple and Practical
The electrochemical process is fairly simple and unsophisticated. There is little risk of damaging components, yet it can have excellent adhesion. The process is simple and practical enough for old plants that need to protect their equipment from rust and corrosion. The durability of the coating will reduce the time and cost associated with maintenance and repair.
Hard chromium plating is a process that has proven useful for many coating applications. Plants can apply it as a tank lining for high resistance to corrosion and temperatures. The process is fairly simple and is held to be one of the best options when all variables are examined. Different applications in the plant may require specific types of custom tank liners. You can contact us or visit our website for quality liner products and services.