California Regulations and Chrome Plating

red streak airplane-chrome plating regulations

California Regulations and Chrome Plating

Recently, the California Air Resources Board proposed new regulations regarding the use of chromium plating in the metal finishing industry. In addition to their already strict environmental ordinances, these new guidelines will phase out hard chrome and chromic acid anodizing in the state of California.

According to the President of the Metal Finishing Associations of Southern California, these regulations will likely cause a severe decline in the California metal finishing industry. They will also require industrial producers to seek chrome plating services out of state.

In addition to aerospace and defense, the industrial, medical, automotive, and many other essential industries rely on the chromium plating process. ChemResearch Corporation is a NADCAP-Certified metal finishing service in Arizona. We provide chrome plating as well as over 30 other plating and chemical processing services.

Proposed California Chrome Plating Regulations

In late April, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposed the following deadlines for the implementation of new regulations regarding hexavalent chromium plating:

  • Dec. 21, 2021 – A halt on the development of any new chromic acid anodizing or hexavalent hard or decorative chromium electroplating facilities
  • Jan. 1, 2023 – Final date for all existing decorative hexavalent chromium electroplating to transition to trivalent chromium
  • Jan. 1, 2027 – Final date for all existing hard hexavalent chromium to transition to trivalent chromium plating
  • Jan. 1, 2032 – Effective date for the ban of all existing chromic acid anodizing

In order to better understand hexavalent chromium emission sources, the CARB will be conducting site visits, facility-specific surveys, emissions source testing, and ambient monitoring in and around existing plating facilities. This data collection will then serve to prioritize emissions reduction strategies.

While decorative applications will be the first affected by the new regulations, functional applications are next. Bryan Leiker, executive director of the Metal Finishing Association of California, pointed out that many customers will not be open to the use of alternative methods. As of now, there is no indication that hard chrome and chromic acid anodizing are replaceable processes.

Benefits of Chrome Plating

Chrome plating is a process used in aerospace, defense, and many other industries to improve metal parts. It offers many beneficial properties that are valuable to these industries. For example, aviation manufacturers use chrome plating to improve the atmospheric corrosion resistance of metal parts and prevent dangerous, mid-op failures of critical equipment. 

Chrome plating also:

  • Reduces friction
  • Improves durability
  • Reduces seizing
  • Resists oxidation and corrosion

In addition, chrome plating can be used as bulking material to restore the original dimensions of metal components without compromising their integrity.

Chrome Plating Services in Arizona

Industry producers seeking high-quality chrome plating services can find them at ChemResearch Corporation. Founded in 1954, ours is the largest special processing facility in Arizona. 

Along with chrome plating, we also provide additional plating and chemical processing services including Anodize, Cadmium, Chem-Film, Copper, Dow 7, and many others. Contact our team of professionals at 602-288-6190 for more information regarding chrome plating regulations and our state-of-the-art services.