Hard chrome replacement

Implementation of the REACH and RoHS initiatives to phase out certain toxic materials forces manufacturers and their suppliers to look for alternatives to hard chrome electroplating (HCP). Extensive programs to eliminate galvanic coatings are ongoing in many industries, driven by these stricter environmental regulations. Certain Tribobond and Bernex coatings are viable alternatives to their galvanic counterparts and are  already being used in many applications. Naturally, these coatings are completely safe for the environment. In addition, they offer important advantages in comparison to other HCP replacement candidates, like  Cr3+ plating or HVOF coating.

IHI Ionbond engineers developed a special approach to electroplating replacement, making sure that the replacement provides an adequate solution from the technical, operational and commercial perspective. Each electroplating request is treated as a project with its own unique requirements.

At the first stage of such a project, Ionbond engineers collect information about the application via a questionnaire. Then they examine the functionality of the galvanic coating and select a suitable replacement from Ionbond’s portfolio. At the next stage, sample coatings are produced and analyzed. Once the quality is confirmed, the samples are supplied to the customer for testing and analysis.

Common candidates for HCP replacement are:

  • Specialty diamond-like carbon (DLC) films with increased corrosion performance
  • Silicon oxide plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) films
  • Physical vapor deposition (PVD) coatings with refined microstructure (e.g. HIPIMS films)
  • Multilayer PVD coatings with unique composition
  • Pure aluminum PVD coatings (an equivalent of IVD )
  • Bernex ™ chemical vapor deposition (CVD) coatings

At Ionbond, we pride ourselves on contributing to environmental protection by participating in HCP replacement programs.