The majority of chromium plating industries worldwide use a hexavalent chrome based pre-treatment. The major disadvantage linked to this practice is that hexavalent chromium Cr VI is carcinogenic, and electroplating traditionally needs several thick copper-nickel-chromium layers to obtain the chrome look.
Green Coat S.r.l. applies a Cr IV free innovative solution which requires just two layers and avoid pollutants: a UV cured paint base layer and a Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) layer. No top coat is needed for a bright chrome finishing. To enhance surface protection, in most applications a transparent Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapour Deposition (PACVD) layer is applied on top of the PVD layer. This process can be incorporated together with the PVD one, and in this way only two coating processes are needed, making this operation healthy and environmentally sustainable.
Green Coat S.r.l. has a well-established network which counts around 50 clients, and this is growing at good rates. The production plant is one of the biggest in the field of PVD implants, and it allows to process the equivalent in surface of 90m2/h. One third of the company’s production is intended for the automotive sector.
- It is possible to eliminate carcinogenic chromic acid from pre-treatment process
- This solution decreases processing time and the number of plating rinsing tanks
- It is possible to achieve a smaller process footprint
- Greater product flexibility is provided as the process is not be limited to a single polymer
- Fewer process steps allows to reduce waste-water and chemicals.
- When it reaches the end-of-life stage, the PVD treated product can be recycled. Since everything is recycled and there is no waste, both energy and costs related to waste management are saved.
- This processes comply with REACH and RoHS regulation
- The outcome is an optimised process for electroplating on plastic materials that is both more economical and environmentally friendly compared to the conventional plating process.
- A challenge that has to be faced is to maintain the performance of the plating whilst lowering the cost of the chrome plating process.
- Green Coat production plants still have higher costs than traditional plants, and for this reason production costs have grater impact on final prices. Prices are key for OEMs, and often environmental impacts are not properly taken into account.
- Regulation is in place, but some concerns derive from derogation.