B&B Coatings | Huddersfield


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HVOF vs Hard Chrome Plating

Why Not Hard Chrome?

Let’s start off by saying that Hard Chrome Plating does have a number of great selling points. First and foremost in many of our client’s minds is that it’s a relatively inexpensive option that only requires simple tech and can certainly tick boxes when it comes to wear resistance, chemical resistance and of course producing a hard surface.

The main negatives of Hard Chrome Plating are that it isn’t good for mother earth. It produces a large amount of toxic waste and hydrogen gas. Inside of the gas bubbles themselves are hexavalent chrome solution which is a known carcinogen. This risk to employees and to the environment are the reasons that the EPA and OHSA have put in place stringent stack emission levels as well as lowering any exposure limits to workers. So where Chrome Hard Plating was traditionally a cheap option, it now has significant business risks attached to it.

Is HVOF the answer?

Certainly on the environmental front, HVOF represents a significant improvement over Hard Chrome Plating. In fact our experts here at B&B reckon that HVOF produces about 80% less hazardous waste. In terms of how well it compares as a coating, HVOF stands its ground. It produces a coating with high density but low porosity. Compared to Hard Chrome Plating it has improved corrosion, hardness and wear resistance.

So use HVOF then?

Yes and no. Both of these techniques have advantages and dis-advantages. Hard Chrome has the advantage that it’s a single material that can be used on a variety of applications where HVOF has the advantage that you can use a wide variety of materials to achieve the right results. This flexibility and the ultimate output of HVOF make it an overall winner in our eyes…but of course every project is different. When and if Hard Chrome Plating does become banned then HVOF will be a great replacement.

If you’re wondering which method would be right for your component, why not get in touch with B&B Precision? Our friendly team of experts can quickly and easily point you in the right direction.

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