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Introduction of 8 common metal materials and metal surface treatment process (3)

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7. Chromium - high finish after treatment


The most common form of chromium is used as an alloying element in stainless steel to enhance hardness of stainless steel. Chromium plating process is usually divided into three types: decorative coating, hard chromium coating and black chromium coating. Chromium coating is widely used in engineering field. Decorative chromium coating is usually used as top layer outside nickel layer. The coating has a delicate polishing effect like mirror. As a decorative post-treatment procedure, chrome coating thickness is only 0. 006 mm. When chromium coating process is intended, the risk of process must be fully considered. In last decade, trend of hexavalent decorative chromium water being replaced by trivalent chromium water is more and more obvious, because former is very strong carcinogenic, while latter is considered relatively less toxic.

Material characteristics: very high finish, excellent corrosion resistance, hard and durable, easy to clean, low friction coefficient.


Typical applications: decorative chrome is used as a coating material for many automotive components, including door handles and bumpers. In addition, chrome is also used in bicycle parts, bathroom faucets and furniture, kitchen utensils and tableware. Hard chrome plating is more commonly used in industrial applications, including ram in job control blocks, jet engine components, plastic molds, and shock absorbers. Black chrome plating is mainly used for decoration of Musical Instruments and solar energy utilization.


8. Titanium -- light and strong

Titanium is a special kind of metal, texture is very light, but very strong and corrosion resistant, at room temperature for life to maintain its own color. Titanium, which has a similar melting point to platinum, is often used in space, military precision parts. When electric current and chemical treatment are added, different colors are produced. Titanium has excellent acid and alkali corrosion resistance. Titanium soaked in aqua regia for several years can still be shiny. If titanium is added to stainless steel, only one percent or so, it will greatly improve the rust resistance.

Titanium has low density, high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance and other excellent characteristics, titanium alloy density is half of steel and steel strength is about the same; Titanium is resistant to both high and low temperature. High strength can be maintained in wide temperature range of -253℃ ~ 500℃. These advantages are necessary for space metal. 

The alloy of titanium is good material to makes rocket engine and man-made satellite and spacecraft, have "space metal" say. Because of these advantages, titanium has risen to prominence as a rare metal since 1950s.


Titanium is a kind of pure metal, because titanium metal is "pure", so when material comes into contact with it, there will be no chemical reaction. In other words, because of its high corrosion resistance and stability, titanium will not affect its essence after long-term contact with human beings, so it will not cause human allergies. It is only metal that has no impact on human vegetative nerve and taste, which is called "biophilic metal".


The biggest disadvantage of titanium is that it is difficult to extract. This is mainly because titanium can combine with oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and many other elements at high temperatures. So people once regarded titanium as a "rare metal". In fact, content of titanium accounts for about 6‰ of weight of earth's crust, which is more than 10 times more than total weight of copper, tin, manganese and zinc.


Material characteristics: very high strength, excellent corrosion resistance to weight ratio, difficult to cold process, good weldability, about 40% lighter than steel, 60% heavier than aluminum, low electrical conductivity, low thermal expansion rate, high melting point.


Typical USES: golf clubs, tennis rackets, portable computers, cameras, luggage, surgical implants, aircraft skeletons, chemicals and maritime equipment. Titanium is also used as a white pigment for paper, painting and plastics.


Keywords in the article: Chromium Titanium
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