Hard Chrome Plating on Plastics Tooling: Now More Than Ever

by: Marshall De La Puente

The benefits to be realized from the various applications of hard chrome plating of plastics tooling are becoming the everyday talk of not only the mold maker and molder, but the mold designer as well.

The intrinsic properties of this unique metal leave very little in the way of alternatives for competitive processes. Having the lowest coefficient of friction over all other engineering metals, excellent corrosion resistance, even with extra light deposits (less than .0002"), hardness to 72 Rc, and resistance to heat, galling & spalling make hard chrome the most versatile solution to a multitude of plastics tooling short comings as well as long term design planning concerns.

The dissertation to follow deals with some general theory of the hard chrome process. It specifically enunciates the use of hard chrome as an engineering tool as well as a salvage tool, and always in terms of basic physical & general properties of chrome.

The time is here for those responsible individuals (mold designers, mold makers and molders) to be aware and to realize the upside as well as the downside of this unique process; and to clear up tales and superstition.

From deposit thickness to the art of grinding; from mirror finish to erosion resistance; from the control of corrosion to the salvage of inserts, the following is comprehensive in nature and specific in its application.