Understanding and avoiding chrome plating’s problems

Chrome plating is one of the options we offer here. It helps make us the top ERW steel tube supplier in the West Midlands. We understand the process and the benefits it can provide.

With hard chrome electroplating, finding defects is essential for fixing them before they become a problem. Low quality chrome plating can result in many difficulties. As such, efficient troubleshooting is critical. What we are going to do here is discuss chrome plating problems. We will go over their adverse effects and what you can do to prevent them.


ERW steel tube supplier West MidlandsFirst on the list is blistering. It happens when gases expand from within the pores of the plated item. These gases are usually nitrogen or hydrogen. Typically, they come from the lubricant applied to the die in manufacturing. When the item becomes hot enough, the gases expand towards the exterior, pushing against the chrome plating. It generates a visible blister or bubble. A huge blister can lead to the plating lifting off completely.

The flaw can also happen if the item’s exterior wasn’t clean when plating. In this instance, dirt particles can cause blistering since the plating has poor adherence. By ensuring the cleanliness of your base metal, you can avoid the problem.

Burned deposits

These normally form on the spots of the highest current density. Usually, they are near irregular shapes or endpieces. Very high current density means the chrome plating builds up swiftly. When it accumulates in these conditions, the areas can burn. To avoid this complication, you need to control the current density.

Cleavage points

These points tend to form in the die-casting process. During it, the plating might split in two along the structural planes. Cleavage points can result in structural rigidity concerns in final products. They massively lower the item’s fracture toughness. Overseeing heat in the die casting and closely monitoring the procedure can help lower the risk. Come to us if you need goods from the best ERW steel tube supplier in the West Midlands.

Cold shuts

These are some of the most common issues in chrome electroplating. The defects happen when separate parts of the plating material harden at individual rates. Usually, this is because the cooler die cools some of the molten metal. When it occurs, some of it cools before your mould fills up. When the next flow of molten metal shows up, it fills the cracks in. The molten metal bonds with the colder metal. When a warmer section of metal hardens against a cooler one, it interferes with the bonding. It generates visible flow marks or lines on the surface.

Cold shuts are a cosmetic flaw in addition to a structural one. Under stress, the product has a higher chance of fracturing along these lines. Seeing to it that the die is not too cold can stop the metal from hardening at individual rates and causing the problem.


One of the main reasons to use chrome plating in the first place is stopping oxidation on the metal underneath. What if the metal was to oxidise beforehand though? If oxide appears on the metal before you finish the process, the plating might not stick properly. Or, it can stick but then lift off. Applying the plate rapidly before your metal can react with air or water can help stop oxidation.

Poor adhesion

This happens when your chrome plating fails to stick to the base metal. Moreover, this is one of the most common causes of parts failure for plated components. As we said above, bad adhesion can happen due to a filthy metal exterior or because of oxides. Alloying agents, dye-releasing materials, or oils can also cause it. Plus, the pre-treating agent can expire before you apply the plate. You need to consider all of these potential issues.

First class products from the best ERW steel tube supplier in the West Midlands

At Union Steel Tubes, we provide chrome plated tubes in addition to many others. Adding a protective chromium layer can offer fantastic protection for steel. It can protect against wear and tear, impacts, and corrosion. Plus, it can improve how the tubing looks.

We are a team that can deliver tubing to you quickly as well. So, if you need help from the finest ERW steel tube supplier in the West Midlands, contact us today.