Shanghai Yixing Technology Co., Ltd.
Shanghai Yixing Technology Co., Ltd.
Email Us

What is the Difference Between Chrome Plating, Nickel Plating and Zinc Plating?

Electroplating is a process that uses the principle of electrolysis to plate a thin layer of other metals or alloys on certain metal surfaces. It uses electrolysis to attach a metal film to the surface of metal or other material parts to prevent metal oxidation (such as rust), improve wear resistance, conductivity, reflectivity, corrosion resistance (copper sulfate, etc.) and enhance aesthetics.


Electroplating is divided into specific processes such as copper plating, gold plating, silver plating, chromium plating, nickel plating and zinc plating. In the manufacturing field, galvanizing, nickel plating and chromium plating are the most widely used. Today let us take a look at the differences between these three.



Definition: Galvanizing refers to a surface treatment technology that coats the surface of metal, alloy or other materials with a layer of zinc for aesthetics, rust prevention and other functions.

Features: low cost, general corrosion resistance, silvery white color.

Application: screws, circuit breakers and industrial supplies, etc.


02-Nickel plating

Definition: A method of plating a layer of nickel on metal or certain non-metals through electrolysis or chemical methods is called nickel plating.

Features: beautiful, can be used for decoration, high price, slightly complicated process, silvery white with yellow color.

Application: energy-saving lamp holders, coins and hardware, etc.


03-Chrome plating

Definition: Chromium is a bright white metal with a slight bluish tint. It is a method of plating a layer of chromium on metal or certain non-metals through electrolysis or chemical methods, which is called chromium plating.

Features: There are two types of chromium plating. The first one is for decoration, with a bright appearance and good friction resistance. Its anti-rust ability is not as good as galvanizing but better than oxidation; the second one is to increase the hardness and wear resistance of metal parts. , which is the functionality of the part.

Application: Bright decorative parts, tools and faucets on home appliances, electronics and other products.


The most basic differences between the three types of electroplating are as follows:


1. Chrome plating is mainly to improve surface hardness, make it beautiful and rust-proof. Chromium plating has good chemical stability and does not react in alkali, sulfide, nitric acid and most organic acids, but it can be dissolved in hydrohalic acid (such as hydrochloric acid) and hot sulfuric acid. Because chromium does not change color and can maintain its reflective ability for a long time when used, it is better than silver and nickel. The process is generally electroplating.


2. Nickel plating is mainly wear-resistant, anti-corrosion and anti-rust. It is generally thin in thickness. The process is divided into two categories: electroplating and chemical.


3. Galvanizing is mainly for appearance and rust prevention. Zinc is an active metal and can react with acids, so it has poor corrosion resistance and is the cheapest of the three.


The difference in cost is that chromium plating is the most expensive, followed by nickel and zinc is the cheapest. Among them, rack plating and barrel plating should also be distinguished. Rack plating is expensive and barrel plating is cheap.


Having said so much, if there are still friends who are confused and can’t tell the difference. Don't worry, there is another way to distinguish them by color.

Chrome plating is bright white, nickel plating is a little yellowish, and zinc plating is silvery white (in fact, there are also colored zinc, gray zinc, matte chrome, bright chrome, white nickel, black nickel, etc.)


Expand your knowledge:

1. Electroplating production is mainly caused by sewage and heavy metal pollution in sewage. China has strictly controlled the expansion of the electroplating industry and reduced it year by year.

2. The main electroplating processes in China are zinc plating, copper plating, nickel plating and chromium plating, of which zinc plating accounts for 50% and copper, chromium and nickel plating account for 30%.

3. If the purpose is to prevent rust, zinc plating or cadmium plating can be used; if the focus is to prevent wear and tear, nickel plating or chromium plating is the best choice.


Electroplating is a very deep knowledge that cannot be explained clearly in a few sentences, and the plating method of each material is different. The treatment before electroplating, electrolyte formula, current size and electroplating time, etc., all details will lead to changes in the quality of electroplating. Apart from other things, if the current is smaller and the plating time is longer, the quality of the plated product will be better, which means it is a bit slow and slow. Of course, the cost will also rise linearly.

Related Yixing Sheet Metal Fabrication Services
Related Sheet Metal Fabrication News
Sheet Metal Fabrication