By Todd Lewis
Ever heard of hydraulic cylinder chroming? A form of electroplating, hard chrome plating has been made popular as a surface coating. With this form of cylinder replating, hydraulic cylinders chrome plating is touted for its hardness, corrosion protection, ability to minimize sliding wear, and extending the life expectancy of metal parts. For this reason, this process is used in many different applications with hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders, as well as pump shafts, rotors, swivel posts, and downhole tools.
To better understand the benefits of chroming, we are sharing more on the benefits, as well as a step-by-step guide to the process.
There’s a reason hydraulic cylinder chrome repair jobs have become so popular. With a host of benefits, and with a unique process to achieve, many are opting for this improvement to their hydraulic cylinders. Here’s why this hydraulic cylinder repair is so popular.
Now that we know all the benefits of chrome cylinder plating, it’s time to understand the process. A hydraulic cylinder chrome rod repair with plating takes time and care, and it’s critical that you understand the process to achieve the desired finish. To assist, we are sharing a step-by-step guide to chrome plating.
At the initial inspection, the rod is evaluated to determine its condition before chrome plating. This is where an inspector should look for any signs of corrosion, pitting, marring, damage, or cracking. The presence of this damage will affect future steps of the re-chroming process.
Before the new chrome application, the old surface must be removed. However, in order to preserve the material beneath without reducing the diameter of the rod itself, this process must be done very carefully. To do this, there are two different approaches: grinding and stripping.
Now that the old chrome has been removed from the metal parts, it’s time to clean the surfaces. The rod should be cleaned and all debris and contaminants should be removed. If you don’t clean the rod first, anomalies may take place in the plating process, causing pitting or flaking, and ultimately limiting the lifespan of the newly plated chrome cylinder rod.
To plate the cylinder, it must be placed in a bath containing a solution of dissolved metal molecules. During this, electrodes are attached to the rod and a positive current is applied to the solution. This allows the metal particles in the solution to attract to the surface and adhere to it.
With heightened technical needs, a precise amount of current must be delivered at a steady rate, while the bath chemistry and temperature must remain the same throughout the entire plating process. Any interruptions or errors in the power and temperature will result in a poor chroming job, causing the chrome cylinder rod to require more refinishing repair.
Now that a fresh layer of chrome is on the rod, it’s time to finish it up. This involves two steps: post-grinding and linishing.
Before wrapping up the cylinder, it’s time for an inspection. With the experience of a trained eye of a professional, the thickness and roughness of the rod must be carefully accounted for to determine the quality.
The final step of the hydraulic cylinder rod chrome plating process is wrapping. During this step, the rod is securely wrapped in cardboard and protective plastic to safeguard the chrome while it’s transported back to where it belongs.
A few different types of chrome plating can be used on hydraulic cylinders, depending on the application and required durability.
The attractive, reflective finish of engineering chrome plating makes it popular. Still, its use goes beyond simply providing an aesthetically pleasing look. Chrome plating also serves a practical purpose as a protective layer; thus, it is often employed in cylinder rods, piston rings, gun bores, and railers.
Decorative chrome is a combination of nickel and copper beneath a thin chromium coating, which creates a glossy and reflective surface and provides protection against corrosion. It is not as strong and durable as engineering chrome and therefore is often used on car wheels and truck bumpers.
Flash chrome plating is ideal for applications exposed to light wear, as it offers good corrosion resistance despite its thin layer. This type of plating is employed as a decorative finish and for parts that require rust and corrosion resistance.
Thin dense chrome plating improves metal surfaces' corrosion and wear resistance. Its electrolyte solution is made of chromium and sulfuric acid and an anode of pure chromium metal, which creates a very thin, dense coating of chromium on the surface of the metal that is highly resistant to corrosion and wear.
Hard chrome plating is a process that coats metal parts with a hard, wear-resistant layer. It is commonly used in the aerospace, automotive, and engineering industries to protect components from corrosion, wear, and abrasion. It can also increase the surface hardness of other metals, such as stainless steel.
The longevity of your equipment's chrome plating largely depends on its condition and the environment in which you use it. Rechroming services should be performed every couple of decades in non-wear situations.
The need for re-chroming services is usually decided by the thickness of the chrome layer, how often maintenance and care are provided, and the quality of the chrome plating materials.
Chrome plating provides a nice finish and protects your equipment from wear, impact, and corrosion. If you see any signs of damage or rust, you may need re-chroming services sooner rather than later.
The process of hydraulic cylinder chroming is one that takes special attention and care, ensuring that the newly-plated chrome cylinder is the correct thickness and roughness for it to function properly in your machinery. While this takes special care and attention, it is well worth the effort to extend the lifetime of your chrome cylinder rod.
To have an expert team handle your hydraulic cylinder chrome repair, Cylinders, Inc. is here to assist. As an expert hydraulic cylinder re-chroming company, we will ensure your cylinder rod is expertly repaired for years of use ahead. To begin the process, contact us online today.
Have a question about our pneumatic cylinder repairs?
Contact Cylinders, Inc. to find out more, or schedule your repair service today!