Chrome-Alternative PVD Coatings for Hard Chrome Replacement

Hexavalent chrome (Hex-Cr) is highly regulated because of its risks to humans and the environment. To avoid environmental impact, improve worker safety, and reduce costs, you can replace chrome plating with a PVD chrome alternative. For many applications PVD chrome can provide a beautiful, durable, and safe alternative to hard chrome. 

Contact us at (303) 652-8500 to learn more about our coating equipment and how it deposits PVD chrome!

Why manufacturers need PVD chrome coatings

Consumers love chrome: It’s hard, corrosion resistant, and has a desireable metallic color. Unfortunately, traditional chrome plating exposes parts to chromium baths containing chromium trioxide and sulfuric acid. These chemicals’ toxicity has necessitated investment in safety controls and, in many countries, extensive permitting.

To resolve these issues, manufacturers are turning to PVD chrome replacement. The chrome PVD process deposits a durable and decorative pure chromium coating that is safe for workers and the environment.

Chrome PVD coating vs. electroplating

  • PVD chrome is made of chromium with a color that is virtually identical to chrome plating and is an excellent and non-toxic chrome alternative.
  • As a viable chrome replacement option, PVD offers an equivalent hardness (1,000 Vickers) with opportunities to further improve surface hardness (up to 2,200 Vickers).
  • Replacing chrome with PVD provides equivalent or better abrasion resistance.
  • With chrome PVD, coatings can be designed to meet specific hardness, durability, and corrosion-resistance specifications.
  • Chrome PVD with a harder chromium nitride base layer improves wear-resistance.

Chrome PVD options unavailable with Hex-Cr

PVD chrome offers several additional advantages over traditional chrome plating:

Adding elements such as nitrogen can produce more durable chrome alternatives. Chromium nitride (CrN) greatly improves coating performance in high-wear applications.

With a PVD process, manufacturers also have color options not possible with chrome electroplating.

PVD coating systems

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Durable PVD color coatings

stylized color coatings

Discover the value-added beauty of VaporTech color PVD coatings.


Explore the benefits of VaporTech PVD and DLC performance coatings.

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