Chromium plating is an electrolytic process of depositing chromium on metals either as a protection against corrosion or to increase the surface wearing qualities. The value of chromium plating plug and ring gages has probably been more thoroughly demonstrated than any other one application of this treatment. Chromium-plated gages not only wear longer, but when worn, the chromium may be removed and the gage replated and reground to size.
In general, chromium-plated tools have operated well, giving greatly improved performance on nearly all classes of materials such as brass, bronze, copper, nickel, aluminum, cast iron, steel, plastics, asbestos compositions and similar materials. Increased cutting life has been obtained with chromium-plated drills, taps, reamers, files, broaches, tool tips, saws, thread chaser, and the like. Dies for stamping, drawing, hot-forging, die-casting and for molding plastic materials have shown greatly increased life after being plated with hard chromium.
Special care is essential in grinding and lapping tools preparatory to plating the cutting edges, because the chromium deposit is influenced materially by the grain structure and hardness of the base metal. The thickness of the plating may vary from 0.0001 to 0.001 or 0.002 inch, the thicker platings being used to build up undersize tools such as taps and reamers.