4 Tips for Purchasing Chromium Carbide Overlay Plate

Consider this: As a site supervisor your day started onsite at 7:00AM. You’ve dealt with paperwork, supply issues, and now some of the equipment is down. Your maintenance manager tells you the material liners you are dealing with have worn through to the main structure of a critical piece of production equipment. You are thinking a total replacement is needed; thoughts of costs, downtime and labor are running through your head.

However, your maintenance manager explains you simply need to order better liners for the equipment, but you’d better make sure it’s made of chromium carbide overlay plate. You’ve heard of the material, but never dealt with it yourself. You know that it’s basically a mild steel plate that has hardfacing, or “overlay”, bonded to it.

So the question is posed, how do you determine who to purchase chromium carbide overlay from? How do you tell which plate provides you the best wear life to get your equipment back up, quickly? Here are a few factors you need to consider when purchasing or researching chromium carbide overlay plate.


Dragslat Conveyor floor lined with a chromium carbide overlay plate, CHROMEWELD 600.

Peeling Back the Layers
One of the biggest misconceptions of chromium carbide overlay, CCO, is that the more layers or passes laid on the base plate the better it is. This is false. If there is a strong chemistry being welded on with good dilution of the chrome carbides, then one pass is all that should be needed. The thickness of the pass can and will vary based off the application. As the decision maker, when evaluating CCO plate, you need to consider why the need to have multiple layers is better? Shouldn’t the product be good enough to stand with one overlay pass?

Is There Chemistry?
Not all applications are the same, sounds like a simple thought. If applications are different, then shouldn’t the solution need to be different? Consider looking for a company that offers multiple chemistries. If you have an extreme abrasion application, then you need a CCO plate that is tailored to meet the harsher abrasion and wear. For abrasion challenges that include impact elements, you need a solution that can handle the beating and not destroy the plate. Look for a company that can work with your needs, provide you a solution that addresses your specific application.

Don’t Judge a Plate by Its Paint
We all know the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Ironically the same goes for CCO plate. One area of concern is the cracks that appear. The surface of the plate will exhibit numerous hairline cracks which are a natural stress relieving phenomenon that is essential to the performance of the plate. It enables the plate to be formed, bent and rolled without damage. These operations maybe necessary for your replacements parts.

Sometimes plates are completely painted. It may make the plate appear esthetically pleasing, but this is a tactic to cover imperfections or inconsistencies in the welds. Proceed with caution when dealing with companies that provide fully painted plates. The exception would be when the customer specifications require this step.

The Bigger, the Better
Depending on the parts you are needing, you want to find a company that supplies larger plates. Ideally, your parts should not be spliced, unless they exceed the industry standard size. Smaller plates are 4’ x 8’ or 5’ x 10’. You want to find a larger size plate that allows you to have a part cut to the size you need. Although, some offer large plates, they simply weld two smaller plates together. Ask the question, when researching your purchase, does the company have the ability to produce larger plates for flexibility in nesting cut parts as well as larger coverage capability to help reduce install times.

When it comes to purchasing CCO plate, make sure to look deeper into the aspects of the plate and manufacturer providing it. Your down equipment needs to be repaired and stay operational for your site to make a profit. You do not want to throw your money away by compromising production time, you need to ensure the CCO plate you are proceeding with is the global standard in overlay plate.