The United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR) recently released the findings of their
"Decorative Trivalent Chromium Exposure in Winter Environments", a multi-year study launched to determine how various trivalent
chromium systems w
ould perform in the real world and how accelerated corrosion testing correlates with real world results.
With the goal of identifying whether chloride or sulfate-based trivalent chrome processes perform better in the areas of general and high-chloride corrosion and overall color stability; the two-phase study revealed sulfate-based systems suffered greater chrome loss in the Russian mud corrosion performance tests. In the appearance performance tests, the study revealed the color of the sulfate systems diminished significantly with field exposure as compared to the chloride systems.
When looking at the overall analytical results and summary findings, the chloride-based system performed better in color stability and ranked more consistent in Russian mud performance in the multi-year field test. Coming out of the study "all three OEMs [FCA US, Ford and GM] recognize the advantages of chloride-based bright trivalent chromium chemistries over sulfate".
As a result of these findings, approvals for chloride-only based decorative trivalent plating systems are already being finalized which may have a direct impact in the marketplace.
Columbia Chemical's renowned trivalent chromium expert Mark Schario is preparing a special summary report on the released findings of the field test and
how the TriCOL™ Décor chloride-based system relates to the direction of OEMs and the world of automotive decorative plating.