What does HVOF stand for and what is it? Metallisation High Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF), is an additive process that fires powdered metal at the substrate at extremely high velocities. Over the past decade, HVOF has been increasingly presented as a highly durable alternative to hard chrome plating.

Why is Hard Chrome plating being phased out? Hexavalent Chromium (chromium(VI) has been proven to be toxic, carcinogenic and is now heavily restricted across the world.

In a paper ‘Wear Behaviour of Hard Chrome and Tungsten Carbide-HVOF Coatings‘ by Materials Today they found that 

"HVOF coatings shows a significant improvement in wear resistance compared to uncoated hard chrome plating"

In this blog we’ll look at the top 10 benefits of HVOF coatings (over Hard Chrome plating) so that you can make an informed decision on the best option for your parts. 

Here are the Top 10 Benefits of HVOF Coatings:

  1. Reduced Costs

Since the demand for hard chrome plating has dramatically reduced the cost has naturally increased to account for smaller orders whilst covering business operation costs. Which unlike HVOF coating include tank maintenance and toxic substance disposal costs. This is good news for customers because they now have an alternative which is cheaper and safer.

2. Fewer Process Steps

Another way that ensures HVOF Coatings are more cost competitive is the reduced process steps. During thermal spraying parts go through 4 process stages in comparison to 9 used in hard chrome plating. If you’d like to read more about the 4 processes of HVOF coating leave a comment below and we’ll add it to our blog.  

3. Faster Turnaround Times

Reduced process steps also mean reduced turnaround times. The entire process of HVOF thermal spraying takes hours, not an entire day like hard chrome plating.

4. Enhanced Durability

All types of HVOF Coatings have significantly better abrasive wear resistance than hard chrome. Tungsten Carbide which we use at B & B Precision is up to 5 times more abrasion resistant than hard chrome.

5. Improved Component Toughness

Unlike hard chrome plating, HVOF coating does not suffer from micro-cracking within its structure providing superior protection against corrosion, wear and fatigue.


HVOF (left) Thermal Spray has a continous surface with less than 1$% prosity.
Microstructure of hard chrome shows micro-cracks causing corrosion (right)

6. Less Environmental Impact

Hard chrome plating leaves behind dangerous chemicals that must be disposed of correctly to ensure toxins do not leak into nearby environments. The only residue left behind when HVOF coating is overspray that can be recovered and sold as scrap metal.

7. No Limitation on component size

Electro plating baths used during hard chrome plating have size restrictions. When HVOF Coating the possibilities are endless because a robotic arm manoeuvres around the component during thermal spraying until fully coated.

8. Wide range of industry applications

Because of its superior corrosion resistance HVOF coatings can be used in a wide range of industry applications such as; Heavy Machinery, Defence, Marine, Agriculture and Water Treatment.

9. Thicker Coating (that can also be used for repair)

Through the thermal spraying process coatings can be applied up to 12mm thick whereas a standard hard chrome plating is only 0.04mm in thickness. This means that defects in damaged steel components can be sprayed until the desired thickness is achieved during repairs

10. Custom Coatings

B and B Precision offer a range of standard coatings options including: Stellite 6, Tungsten Carbide, Nickle Alloy, Cooper Alloy and more. Because HVOF uses powdered metal the mixture of this can be customised to meet more specific requirements.

B&B Precision tungsten carbide coating

Tungsten Carbide is the most versatile and widely used of our HVOF applied coatings. Read more about Tungsten Carbide Coatings here.

Request a Quote

If you’re interested in benefiting from using HVOF coatings for your applications please get in touch and we can quote solely for HVOF Coatings or for the complete engineering and coating of components.



Telephone: 01484 866386 or email: mail@bandbprecision.co.uk


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