What Is the Difference Between Chrome Plating, Nickel Plating and Zinc Plating?

First, let’s learn about what is electroplating?

Electroplating is the process of plating a thin layer of other metals or alloys on certain metal surfaces using the principle of electrolysis. Then, the process of attaching a layer of the metal film to the surface of metal or other material parts by electrolysis, so as to prevent metal oxidation (such as rust), improve wear resistance, electrical conductivity, light reflection, corrosion resistance (copper sulfate, etc.) and enhance aesthetics.

Electroplating process of automotive aluminum hubs

Electroplating process of automotive aluminum hubs

Electroplating is further divided into specific processes such as copper plating, gold plating, silver plating, chrome plating, nickel plating, and zinc plating. In the manufacturing field, zinc plating, nickel plating, and chrome plating are the most widely used. This article will introduce the difference between zinc plating, nickel plating, and chrome plating.

Zinc Plating

Definition: Galvanized refers to the surface treatment technology of plating a layer of zinc on the surface of the metal, alloy, or other materials in order to play the role of beauty and rust prevention.

Features: Low cost, general corrosion resistance, silver-white color.

Applications Scope: screws, circuit breakers, industrial supplies, etc.

zinc plating bolts manufactured by YIJIN Hardware

Zinc plating bolts manufactured by YIJIN Hardware

Nickel Plating

Definition: The method of plating a layer of nickel on metal or some non-metals by electrolysis or chemical method is called nickel plating.

Features: Aesthetics, can be decorated, high price, slightly complicated process, the color is silver white and yellow.

Application Scope: Energy-saving lamp caps, coins, hardware, etc.

Nickel Plating parts manufactured by YIJIN Hardware

Nickel plating parts manufactured by YIJIN Hardware

Chromium Plating

Definition: Chromium is a bright white metal with a slight blue tinge. The method of plating a layer of chromium on metal or some nonmetals by electrolysis or chemical method is called chromium plating.

Features: There are two kinds of chrome plating, the first one is for decoration, with a bright appearance, good abrasion resistance, and rust prevention ability is not as good as galvanized, but better than oxidation; The second is to increase the hardness and wear resistance of metal parts, which is the functionality of the parts.

Application Scope: Bright decorative parts, tools, and faucets for household appliances, electronics, and other products.

The Difference Between Zinc Plating, Nickel Plating, and Chrome Plating

  1. Chrome plating is mainly to improve surface hardness, beauty, and rust prevention. Chromium plating has good chemical stability and does not react in alkali, sulfide, nitric acid, and most organic acids, but is soluble in hydrohalic acid (such as hydrochloric acid) and hot sulfuric acid. Because chrome does not change color, it can maintain its reflective ability for a long time and is better than silver and nickel. The process is generally electroplating.
  2. Nickel plating is mainly wear-resistant, anti-corrosion, anti-rust, generally thin thickness, and process divided into electroplating and chemical two categories.
  3. Zinc plating is mainly beautiful and rust prevention. Zn is an active metal that can react with acids, so it has poor corrosion resistance and is the cheapest of the three.

The difference in cost: chrome plating is the most expensive, nickel plating is second, and zinc plating is the cheapest. Among them also distinguish hanging plating, rolling plating, etc. Hang plating is expensive, and roll plating is cheap.

Distinguish chrome plating, nickel plating, and zinc plating by color.

Chrome bright white, a nickel a little yellow, zinc silver-white.

For example, when machining CNC parts made of copper as the base material, some CNC machined parts need to be gold-plated in order to have a beautiful appearance, but it should be noted that if you want to make CNC machined parts made of copper as the base material If the parts are gold-plated, then you need to carry out a layer of nickel-plating operation first, and then carry out gold-plating, so as to ensure a better effect. In many gold-plated handicrafts unearthed in China in modern times, many use mercury, then It is an ancient gold-plating process. Watermarks are harmful to people. Modern processes have rarely used this process.

Chrome plating and chrome plating are also to maintain the beauty of the surface. Because chrome has good chemical stability, electroplating is generally used, and the cost of chrome plating is relatively high, so it is generally used for high-end custom CNC machining parts
Galvanizing is also mostly used for surface aesthetics. Because zinc has very active chemical stability and poor corrosion resistance, it is used in places where it is not often exposed to acidic substances and strong oxidizing substances, so galvanizing is one of the cheapest ways of three surface treatments.

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