Chromium Electroplating or Chrome Plating is commonly used for functional and decorative applications throughout a wide range of industries. Decorative Chrome Plating involves applying a nickel layer prior to the chrome plating step, and therefore is often called Nickel Chrome Plating. The nickel layer provides most of the reflectivity you see in in the finish, and the chrome layer protects the nickel and minimizes scratches.
Functional chrome plating or Hard Chrome Plating is most commonly used for applications that need excellent wear resistance and lubricity. The process chemistry utilizes highly concentrated Chromic Acid. During plating, hexavalent chromium mist is generated at the surface of the process and must be captured and controlled, due to its hazardous and carcinogenic nature.
The US EPA and OSHA both heavily scrutinize Chrome Plating Processes, and regulate airborne emissions along with occupational exposure. KCH pioneered the technology that meets the EPA Emission requirements of 0.006 mg/dscm. OSHA has set the hexavalent chromium permissible exposure limit (PEL) to 5 micrograms per cubic meter, based on an 8 hour time weighted average.
KCH often recommends plating tanks with Smart Tank Covers be integrated with properly designed local exhaust ventilation to ensure fugitive emission are captured and employee exposure is minimized. In addition, the Spectra U Series Chrome Mist Eliminator combined with a HEPA Chamber for ultra efficient removal of hex chrome emissions, enables ultra-efficient hex chrome emission removal at near zero emissions.
KCH now build SAFE Chrome™ plating systems for customers that desire an alternative to Hex Chrome in functional or hard chrome plating.
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