With the vast array of coating technologies and materials available in the marketplace, matching the best coating to an application is far from a trivial task. There is a tendency on the part of vendors, for example, to put forward any hard coating as a chrome replacement or any corrosion-resistant coating as an alternative to cadmium. At the same time users often attempt to shoehorn the coatings with which they are most familiar into applications for which they are not well-suited. This paper will discuss how best to match the application to the best technology and material, considering all the critical requirements of fit, form and function, with particular reference to alternatives for chrome and cadmium plating.

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