Removing Chrome Plating with CNC Machining(bronze vs brass Christopher)

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Chrome plating is a popular technique used to create a protective and decorative coating on various metal surfaces. Over time, however, this plating may need to be removed due to wear, damage, or the need for repurposing. In such cases, CNC machining can provide an efficient and precise method for removing chrome plating from different materials. This article aims to explore the intricate process of using CNC machining to remove chrome plating while ensuring high-quality results.

Understanding Chrome Plating Removal:

Chrome plating removal involves stripping off the layer of chrome from a surface, which can be challenging if attempted manually. Besides, manual removal methods often result in uneven finishes, scratches, or damage to the substrate material. Here's where CNC machining comes into play, offering a more controlled and accurate approach to eliminate chrome plating.

CNC Machining Process for Chrome Plating Removal:

1. Initial assessment:
Before starting the chrome plating removal process, it is essential to assess the condition of the part and determine its compatibility with CNC machining techniques. Factors like material type, size, shape, and complexity influence the decision to proceed with CNC machining for removal.

2. Coating thickness measurement:
Accurate measurements of the existing chrome plating thickness help develop a suitable plan for removing the plating without damaging the underlying material. Non-destructive testing techniques like X-ray fluorescence (XRF) are commonly employed for this purpose.

3. CNC programming:
Once all preliminary evaluations are complete, the next step involves creating a CNC program specific to the removal requirements. Skilled technicians define the required tool paths, speeds, feeds, and cutting parameters to optimize the machining process.

4. Selecting suitable tools:
To ensure effective chrome plating removal, appropriate cutting tools are selected based on factors like cutting speed, feed rate, depth of cut, and material hardness. Carbide end mills, diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated tools, or polycrystalline diamond (PCD) cutters are commonly used for this purpose.

5. Machining setup:
The part to be stripped of chrome plating is securely mounted onto a CNC milling machine or lathe based on its size and complexity. Proper fixturing ensures stability during the machining process, preventing any potential damage to the substrate material.

6. Execution of program:
With all parameters in place, the CNC machine runs the programmed instructions, moving the cutting tool along the pre-determined path to remove the chrome plating layer. The cutting depth is gradually increased until the entire coating is eradicated from the surface.

7. Finishing touches:
Once the chrome plating has been completely removed, the machined surface may require additional processes like polishing, buffing, or treatment with sealants to restore the desired appearance and improve durability.

Benefits of CNC Machining for Chrome Plating Removal:

1. Precision and repeatability: CNC machining offers unparalleled accuracy, ensuring uniform removal of the chrome plating without causing damage to the underlying material.

2. Time and cost efficiency: Compared to manual removal methods, CNC machining significantly reduces processing time, minimizing labor costs while maximizing productivity.

3. Versatility: CNC machines can handle various part sizes, shapes, materials, and complexities, making them suitable for different industries and applications.

4. Superior finishes: The controlled nature of CNC machining enables consistent and high-quality results, free from uneven surfaces or scratches that often accompany manual removal techniques.


When it comes to removing chrome plating efficiently and precisely, CNC machining emerges as an excellent solution. By following a well-defined process, including assessments, measurements, programming, tool selection, machining, and finishing, the undesirable chrome plating can be effectively eliminated. This method not only saves time and money but also ensures a superior quality finish, breathing new life into the substrate material. CNC Milling