The Steel Supply Company

Buyers Guide

Care of Chrome Plated Rods & Tubes

Prevention of corrosion extends beyond just the manufacture of the hard chrome plated rod or tube. Handling and storage of the rod or tube can dramatically affect corrosion resistance.

  • Ensure the protective fiber tubing does not get moist or wet with water or other contaminants. Remove any wet fiber tubes from rods or tubes and dry the rods or tubes immediately.
  • When transporting chrome plated rods or tubes between operations, do not leave them in contact with surfaces that may contain coolants, lubricants, cleaning agents, or other sulfur or chlorine containing surfaces.
  • Do not transport in loose quantities that can contact one another. Point impacts can damage the integrity of the chrome plate and eliminate corrosion resistance.
  • Do not leave rods or tubes unprotected between operations or during transfer between buildings, if the transfer is over an extended period of time. A light oil film should be applied.
  • Do not place unprotected chrome rods or tubes in contact with wood surfaces for an extended period of time. Moisture from the wood and leachable chlorines could lead to corrosion on the rod or tube where contact is made.
  • Coolants and lubricants used for threading, turning, and cutting chrome plated steel bars and tubes can cause a reduction in corrosion resistance. This reduction in corrosion resistance is due to the chemistry of the lubricants. The chemicals contained in the lubricants that can be detrimental to the chrome plate are chlorine, sodium, and sulfur.
  • Limit the contact with coolants and lubricants, and remove excess lubricant after machining operations to reduce the potential of corrosion.
  • If rods or tubes are being machined with the protective cardboard tube in place, the tube could become saturated with coolant. If the tube is not removed, the machined rod or tube sitting in the saturated tube could begin to corrode. Minimizing coolant when machining the rods or tubes in the protective cardboard tube will improve corrosion resistance.
  • Sand paper or other abrasives used on the surface of the rod or tube could seriously damage or remove the chrome plate. The damage will effectively eliminate corrosion resistance.
  • Store chrome plated rods or tubes in a dry environment in a protective fiber tube or with a light coat of oil. If there are any surface imperfections in the chrome plate, moisture could cause premature corrosion.
  • When storing the rods or tubes in the assembled cylinder without oil, it is important to maintain a moisture free atmosphere. Plastic wrapping may cause condensation to build on the rod or tube and, therefore, induce corrosion. Coated paper will break down and should not be used for extended storage.
  • When in service, there are several actions that can be performed to improve corrosion resistance.
    • Store a cylinder in the retracted position.
    • If a cylinder is stored in the extended position, periodically cycle the cylinder.
    • If a cylinder must be stored in the extended position without being cycled, use the following procedures.
      1. Using a dry cloth or cloth with appropriate solvent, clean dirt from the exposed rod or tube.
      2. Use an approved rust preventative. MSDS information is available as well as product information.
      3. Inspect and reapply mixture at a 1-3 month interval.


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