Cracking of High Strength Steel Piston Rod During Chrome Plating
A few Cr-Mo steel piston rods from different production batches were found identically cracked in the eye end near the radius after chrome plating and baking treatment. Two of them cracked in the plating stage itself instantly broke on slight tapping. Cracking initiated from the outer base surface of the forked eye end. The 40 mm diam forged piston rods were subjected to plating after heavy machining on the part without any stress-relieving treatment. Also, time lapses between plating and baking were varied from 3 to 11 h. The brittle cracking along forked eye-end radius portion was attributed to hydrogen embrittlement that occurred during chrome plating.