In industrial applications, hard chrome is used to protect metal components against corrosion and wear. The shiny metallic finish of chrome also improves the aesthetics of the metal components. Proper upkeep is needed to ensure that hard chrome is able to perform its intended purpose.
Preserving hard chrome requires regular cleaning. Chrome is able to provide excellent security versus rust due to the chromium oxide that develops on the surface when chrome is first exposed to air. The accumulation of dirt or filth on the surface of the chrome can prevent oxide from being formed and protecting the chrome plating and the metal beneath.
A lubricating oil is recommended by many for cleaning chrome surfaces. Like many lubrication products, oil has an affinity for metal and will move towards it. This penetrating action can loosen any unwanted buildup on the surface so that they be easily removed with a brush or cloth.
However, it is important to be careful when cleaning chrome. Some cleaning products can be too aggressive. This can lead to the protective oxide being stripped off from the chrome surface. The frequent use of these cleaning products can cause the chrome plating to become thinner over time.
Lubricating oil could also be utilized to shield chrome from chipping caused by contact with other hard objects. By enhancing the lubricity of the chrome surface area, hard objects can slide off the surface instead of scratching it or chipping the chrome.