Palmetto Shield

Common Names


Applicable Specs



Palmetto Shield™ is a patented process replacing the traditional Nickel-Chrome decorative plating process with a chrome free plating process. The process has increased corrosion resistance and has better “throw” (ability to plate in holes and cavities). It is a two step plating process consisting of a proprietary nickel plate followed by the proprietary Palmetto Shield™ plating process.

Features & Benefits

Palmetto Shield™ Decorative plating is a substitute for Nickel-Chrome plating. It is used to give a bright, easily cleanable, corrosion resistant deposit to metal parts. This deposit has a white-bright color. It is more corrosion resistant than the traditional nickel-chrome system. The thickness of the underlying nickel is .0003” to .002”, with thinner deposits usually on copper or brass for interior use and heavier deposits usually on steel or other substrate materials for exterior use. The process is chrome free, and is non-tarnishing. It is especially useful for small parts. Unlike traditional Nickel-Chrome plating, parts can be plated with the Palmetto Shield™ system in barrels, substantially reducing the cost when compared to rack plating.

The deposit is a white-bright color. Deposits greater than 0.0005” are non-porous.


Automotive components, food, pharmaceutical, and medical equipment, household trim, wares, hardware, electrical equipment, fasteners, plumbing fixtures.

Considerations & Limitations

  • Base Material: Steel, Cast Iron, Brass, Copper, Stainless Steel.
  • Shape of Parts: Unlimited except that blind cavities or holes may require supplemental electrodes to ensure adequate coverage. Special fixturing may be required to control gas pocketing or burning.
  • Size: Parts up to 4 feet by 2 feet. Maximum weight 500 lbs.
  • Quantity: Although quantity affects price, quantity is not a limiting factor. Price is determined by how many parts can be process in an hour.
  • Thickness of Finish: Nickel thicknesses of 0.0003” to 0.002” are normal.
  • Masking: Can be used to protect critical machined dimensions.
  • Heat treatment: Heat treat scale must be removed. It is necessary to stress relieve parts whose hardness is Rockwell 40c or higher.
  • Method of Processing: Parts may be rack or barrel plated.
  • Pre-Treatment: Parts must be clean and free from oil, grease and tape residue. Parts must be “chemically” clean prior to plating and may require specific activation, chemical etch or activation prior to plating. Normal processing includes caustic soak, electroclean, and acid de-oxidize. An acid pickle prior to de-ox may also be used. Sometimes abrasive blasting or mechanical finishing is required for better adhesion or to achieve a required surface finish. Palmetto Plating Co., Inc. provides limited abrasive blasting (parts less than 18” maximum dimension and 25 lbs) for parts which are being plated.
  • Post Treatment: None
  • Packaging: Parts are repacked as received. It is often necessary to wrap parts with paper to prevent scratching. This will be done at the customer’s request.

Quality Control

Process solutions are checked and analyzed following an established schedule and monitored using SPC techniques. Some of the process solutions may be sent to the process supplier for routine analysis. Thickness testing can be done at the customer’s request. Salt Spray testing can be done by submitting samples to an outside laboratory. This is done for an extra charge at the customer’s request.