We have a customer that wants to black chrome aluminum motorcycle rims. Do we want to do black chrome, black nickel or black oxide? K. P.
You actually have a choice of only two finishes. Black oxide is not a suitable finish for aluminum-based materials. Black chromium and black nickel are both used as decorative finishes. The aluminum wheels must be properly prepared before being plated with the black finish. The appearance of the final finish is probably the most difficult part of the process. The chromium process gives you a jet-black color that is very attractive. The finish is used both on decorative and functional applications.
The black nickel process also gives a black finish but it’s not as predictable in terms of color and appearance.
Generally speaking, the chrome process seems to be more reliable and is the process that I recommend.