REACH – Applications for authorisation AFA025-01 CrO3

Closed 1 Dec 2022

Opened 6 Oct 2022


Public consultation on alternatives

Reference: AFA025-01

Applicant: Surface Engineering Association Chromium Trioxide Authorisation Consortium

Application type: Initial 

Substance name: Chromium trioxide

  • EC Number: 215-607-8
  • CAS Number: 1333-82-0
  • Annex 14 Entry Number: 16

Proposed use: Industrial use of chromium trioxide for the chromium electroplating of sanitaryware and plumbing components

Broad information on use applied for (conditions of use and function): 

Industrial use of chromium dioxide for the chromium electroplating of sanitaryware and plumbing components for the purpose of creating a coating to provide very specific performance characteristics, that include corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, wear/abrasion resistance, adhesion, UV resistance, heat resistance and visual appearance.

Functional chrome plating with decorative character represents the surface treatment of metal or other surfaces with a water-based chromium trioxide mixture (namely chromic acid) to deposit a thin metallic chromium outer layer using an electrolytic plating process. The surface of the finished product is entirely free of hexavalent chrome, with the chromium coating being essentially inert. The metallic chromium electroplating coating is fully recyclable.

The chromium plating is the outer layer of a multi-layer plating coating process, typically involving the plating of separate initial layers of copper and/or nickel on to the product’s substrate before the final, outer chromium coating is applied in the chrome plating tank. Between each plating layer, the components are rinsed in a clean water tank. In simple terms, electroplating is achieved by passing an electric current between two electrodes which are immersed in an electrolyte bath comprising of chromic acid. One of the electrodes will be the substrate which is to be plated. During the flow of electricity between the two electrodes, chromium atoms are deposited in a layer on the electrode to be plated. The thickness of the resultant chromium plating layer is dependent upon the length of time that the component is immersed in the chrome plating tank with the electrical current turned on. Decorative chromium electroplating has been commercially available since the 1920’s, and the process has continued to be improved and developed.

This application covers the use of chromium trioxide for electroplating at 8 separate Companies. The total annual tonnage involved in this application is between 3 and 4 tonnes, and a review period of 12 years is requested.

List of descriptors:

  • Life Cycle Stage (LCS): Use at industrial site.
  • Sector of end Use (SU): 0 (Other: manufacture of plated products for various industry sectors).
  • Product Category (PC): 14 (Metal surface treatment products).
  • Process Category (PROC): 1, 4, 8b, 13, 28.
  • Environmental Release Category (ERC): ERC6B.
  • Article Category related to subsequent service life (AC): N/A.
  • Technical Function (TF): Plating agent.

Annual tonnage used: 3 to 4 tonnes

Review period requested: 12 years

How to submit comments

Provide some basic information on possible alternative(s) in the online survey below but more detailed information should be provided in document(s) prepared using the commenting templates in the related section below. A “public version” should always be completed and will be published after the consultation has closed. If you want to include confidential information in your submission, please additionally complete a “confidential version” and submit both versions as attachments.

The consultation lasts for 8 weeks (unless otherwise specified) and closes at 23:59 London time (BST).


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