New Updated Study on Hard Chrome in Wear Coatings

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Markets in Wear Coatings: Hard Chrome and its Alternatives" report to their offering.

Markets in Wear Coatings: Hard Chrome and its Alternatives, 2013, a new update of its study on hard chrome in wear coatings and chrome replacement. This comprehensive examination of the subject discusses the various technologies, the industries in which they will, and won't, be used, and forecasts to 2020.

Background on Wear Coatings

A number of alternatives to hard chrome are available. Chrome substitutes are dominated by thermal spray, in particular high-velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF), often favored due to its high strength and wear resistance, relatively low cost, and fast turnaround time. However, other new processes are emerging and capturing chrome and HVOF markets as well. These include electroless nickel composite plating, which can deposit highly uniform diamond-composite coatings which are not restricted to line-of-sight geometries, as is HVOF. Other emerging techniques include explosive bonding, which can be used to fabricate stainless-steel or titanium coatings, and electrodeposited nanocrystalline cobalt-phosphorus alloys specifically targeted at inner diameters. Plasma vapor deposition (PVD) can make thin, high quality coatings for less cost, in many cases, than even decorative chrome.

At one time many predicted a near abandonment of chrome plating to one or more of these new technologies but this has not happened. Indeed, in some markets, the adoption of thermal spray as an alternative to hard chrome has slowed. One reason is that some sectors, like aerospace, are almost fully converted to alternatives already. Another is that the initial enthusiasm for thermal spray as a chrome alternative has waned as its own limitations become more widely known. For that reason, while HVOF markets are still growing, many users are investigating other alternatives, including newer thermal spray processes as well as plating and vapor deposition.

The market picture is mixed and wildly uncertain. For both chrome and its substitutes, coating demand in the oil and gas sector is booming, thanks to new oilfield development techniques like fracking and horizontal drilling, while forestry and pulp & paper continue a precipitous, long term decline.

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