Firma-Chrome Ltd

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In the current UK climate engineering is becoming more specialised. To service this need a high degree of expertise is required to complement the products and services that will survive. Demands on corrosion protection, wear and aesthetics, coupled with the ever present pressure to reduce the environmental impact require specialists in each field.

Firma-Loy is such a specialist. Our aim is to make available all the best techniques, the most responsive service on one site where the environmental impact will be contained & eliminated where possible.
The processes detailed in the following pages can only give a flavour of our range and versatility so please contact us if you have other requirements.

Corrosion & Wear Protection

If you are not familiar with our company and your first contact with us is online please visit our website to get a feel for the range of our services. Also let us know what your needs and questions are and we will be more than happy to help.

In brief, you should know the following about us: metal finishing has been provided from this site since 1964 and had been responsible for achieving improved surface finishes with these processes ever since. Our specialty is in the area of electroless nickel, hard chrome and phosphate coatings. Our regular customers particularly value our rapid response and consistency of quality.

Corrosion &  Wear Protection

Electropolishing

WHAT IS ELECTROPOLISHING AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Electropolishing is an electrochemical method of modifying the surface of a material. To make things simple, it is the reverse of plating. Typically, it is done in a tank that is filled with an electrolyte solution. On the sides of the tank are stainless steel cathodes with an anode bar in the centre of the tank to which parts can be connected. When the correct tooling is applied and proper current and run time is set the electropolishing process begins.

WHAT MATERIALS CAN BE ELECTROPOLISHED?

Almost any metal can be electropolished but the majority in the UK are austenitic stainless steels.
ADVANTAGES
  SURFACE ENHANCEMENT   During the electropolishing process the high points in the material are attacked first. In other words, the "peaks" of the material are depleted more rapidly than the low areas or "valleys". As a result, the surface roughness is reduced. We have experienced in some cases, surface finishes improved by up to 50%. You should note that a "normal" electropolish run can result in 0.0001" to 0.0004" material removal. The most important thing to remember is the better the surface you start with, the better you can expect after electropolishing.   A smoother surface means less area for particulates to be trapped. It is also thought that the smoother surface restricts impurities from attaching themselves to a processed surface as well.   Smoother ( Ra, Rms, Rmax ) finishes are very important to many industries and applications. Manufacturers of high purity gas systems, high vacuum chambers, and surgical instruments have benefited from a smoother, electropolished surface.
Electropolishing

Electroless Nickel

As the name implies no electrical current is applied, instead a metallic coating is deposited from the controlled chemical reduction of a metal salt. The resulting product is uniform in thickness over all surfaces including threads, bores and recesses.
It is possible to coat almost all metals up to a thickness of 100 microns (.004”)

The standard of finish on the component is important as the coating reproduces the substrate surface finish. The coating is relatively hard as plated (see below) but can be heat treated at low temperature to increase surface hardness to approx. the same as hard chrome. ‘High Phosphorous’ coatings have been shown to offer salt spray test durations in excess of 1000 hours
  • Barrel Plating
  • Heat Treatment
  • Bead Blast
Electroless Nickel

Phosphate

Grey, Matt, Crystalline

Non decorative, functional low corrosion resistance

Phosphate is a relatively thin chemical conversion coating used mainly on steel. It converts (and is therefore part of ) the surface layer, forming a porous crystalline layer which acts as a corrosion retardant. Major applications include pre-treatment prior to organic coatings, “bedding in” of gear, clutch and disc products,  and anti wear and corrosion protection when used with a suitable supplementary coating absorbed into the surface.

Phosphate

Hard Chrome

A hard, low friction,  wear and scratch resistant metal coating up to 50 micron (.002”) thick. Ideal for cutting and slicing blades, sharpening steels. pistons and drill bits. It is also used for anti-galling and anti-fretting  purposes particularly on ‘stainless steel to stainless steel’ applications. Work produced on our automatic plant is ideal for high volume work where an extended wear life and a semi decorative finish are the main criteria

  • Atomic weight 52.01     Number 24
  • Melting point  1850 °C
  • Coef.of Expansion  8.1 x 10¿6
  • Hardness  1000 - 1150 HV
  • Microcracked deposit > 1000 cracks / inch
Hard Chrome

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