2 New Process Workers Needed

Silchrome Plating are proud to be expanding our thriving metal finishing business through the addition of 2 new process workers, at our facility in leeds, West Yorkshire. More details on the link.


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Chemical Blacking vs Xylan Black

When it comes to producing an aesthetically pleasing matte black finish, the range of options can be quite confusing. Two of the most popular of these processes are Chemical Blacking and Xylan coating, but which process sis better for which situation?

What is Chemical Blacking?

Chemical Blacking is a process suitable for Carbon Steels, Stainless Steels and Brass Alloys. It is a conversion coating in which the surface of the metal part reacts with chemicals and salts in the vat to produce a thin coating with a black, matte finish.

What is Xylan?

Xylan is a brand name of a range of different coatings, each of which has been formulated with a different application. Xylan 1052 for example is used to prevent wear on mating surfaces and Xylan 1400 is formulated for corrosion resistance. It is available in a range of colours which includes Black which will often have a slightly glossy appearance.


One of the main advantages with Chemical Blacking is it has a very negligible impact on the surface thickness of a part. This is because the process converts the surface as opposed to adding a layer onto it. This makes it ideal for small and intricate components with critical dimensions. Xylan on the other hand is a coating which is sprayed onto the surface and is usually between 10-30 microns thick, so amy not be suitable for critical dimensions.

Corrosion Resistance

Chemical Blacking will improve the corrosion resistance of a component as it helps encapsulate it from its environment and this can be improved with the addition of waxes and oils, in particular chemical blacking can handle environments with high amounts of moisture. Where you are blacking a Stainless Steel component, there will be very little in the way or additional corrosion resistance. Xylan’s corrosion resistance will depend on the formulation you use, Xylan 1400 is a thick film coating that resists acid rain, weathering and high temperature. We often get enquires for components that need to function in an outdoor environment and in this situation we often recommend Xylan to be longer lasting and more durable then chemical blacking.

Wear Resistance

Neither of these options should be selected for higher wear applications. The thin nature of Chemical Blacking means it offers little to nothing in terms of wear resistance and although some formulations of Xylan are specified for wear on mating surfaces this tends to be on components such as bolts and fasteners and not in environments such as mining or slurry pumping.


Chemical Blacking should be considered for small components with critical dimensions, that aren’t going to be subject to an outdoor environment. For example; Gears, Jigs, Fixtures, Transmission Drives, Steel Rope Wire and Springs.

Xylan should be considered for applications where reducing friction and improving heat and pressure resistance is important. More suitable for components used outdoors and often used on components such as: Threaded Fasteners, Rotors and Anti-Friction Bearings.

Silchrome plating are fully ISO 9001 and 14001 certified and provide both Chemical Blacking and Xylan Coatings. Get in touch today andwe can happily guide you as to which is the right process for your application.

Tin Whiskers and How To Avoid them

Tin Whiskers are electrically conductive, hair like structures that can grow on surfaces that have been electroplated with pure Tin. This causes failures within electronic components and represents a challenge for manufacturers looking to eliminate lead from production whilst keeping failure rates low. Tin Whiskers are something of a mystery, growing seemingly at random, so what do we know about them and how can we prevent their growth?


Silchrome Plating offer a wide array of metal finishing processes, many containing their own subcategories and finishing options. Here is an overview:


The electro-plating process involves taking your component and placing it into a vat/tank containing an electrolytic solution. An electrical current is then run into this bath which promotes the build-up of the plating material onto the component. We offer:

Chrome – Decorative Chrome Plating in Bright, Matte, Brushed and Satin finishes. Hard Chrome Plating for applications with higher wear

Silver – For all batch sizes and with a dedicated gasket line

Copper – Cyanide, Acid and Pyrophosphate Copper Plating with Lacquer if used as a final process.

Zinc – With Clear, Yellow, Black, Oliver Drab and Trivalent Passivation

Nickel – Bright and Dull (matte) finishes as well as Sulfamate Nickel Plating

Tin – Bright and Dull (matte) finishes

Gold – A small tank for immersion plating which will only add 1-2um of material

Electroless Nickel

During the Eletroless process, Nickel Ions are reduced using Sodium Hypophosphite, meaning the Nickel itself acts as the catalyst for the plating reaction. Silchrome provide Electroless Nickel with Medium Phosphorus and High Phosphorus

Conversion Coatings

Conversion coatings differ from electroplating in that where electroplating adds a layer of material to the surface, these coatings convert the surface of the material forming both above and below the surface.

Chemical Blacking – For Carbon and Stainless Steels as well as for Copper Alloys.

Anodising – available in a range of colours with Hard Anodising and Chromic Acid Anodising.

Phosphating – Manganese, Zinc and Iron Phosphating

Iridite NCP – Chrome Free passivation for aluminium

Alocrom – We provide Alocrom 1000 and 1200.

Passivation – Pickle & Passivate or as a stand alone process

Specialist Coatings

Specialist Coatings are normally developed with a specific application in mind and are sold under brand names.

Xylan – 1010, 1052, 1400 in a variety of colours most popular being Blue, Black, Red and Greem

Molybdenum based coatings – Everslik 1201, Everslik 1301, Molykote D-7409, Moly-Mist

Paint & Powder Coatings

In a wide range of colours and textures, we can buy in paint where we don’t stock it currently.

We understand that this wide range of options can be overwhelming, and can help point you in the right direction with any metal finishing queries. Silchrome are fully ISO 9001 and 14001 certified and carry out all of our processes in house in our modern production facility in Leeds.

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