The Problem with existing aqueous decorative trivalent processes:
Aqueous based decorative trivalent chromium electroplating processes have been in limited use for over three decades now. The primary reasons for their limited adoption have been due to challenges with color matching, difficulty of process control, and OEM acceptance. These trivalent chrome plating processes have a narrow window of operational parameters. They also require expensive complexing agents, chelators, and other additives to operate. Many of these decorative processes also require expensive and elaborate filtration systems, such as ion exchange, to remove excessive contamination and impurities. Existing aqueous based processes can have an unintended tendency to transform trivalent chromium into toxic hexavalent chromium through anodic oxidation, likely due to the high amount of water used in the plating solution and high anodic current density. The unique relationship between SAFE Chrome® proprietary ionic liquids and trivalent chrome make it an easier process to operate, with less additives, all while reducing the chances of generating hexavalent chromium in the process.
SAFE Chrome is an innovative Ionic Liquid based trivalent chromium solution designed to replace existing aqueous decorative trivalent chrome and hexavalent chrome plating chemistries. The main difference between SAFE Chrome® and all other chemistries available in the decorative chromium electroplating market is that SAFE Chrome® uses an ionic liquid, with a reduction in water, as the main solvent in the process. This dramatically reduces problems associated with excess water, such as hydrogen evolution at the cathode and pH control within the bath. Using SAFE® Chrome results in a more adherent, hard, wear resistant, lustrous product while not creating health and environmental issues.