Plating Options for Hydraulic Fittings & Adapters


Differences Between Hot-Dipped Galvanizing and Zinc Plating

When it comes to protecting steel hydraulic fittings and adapters, choosing the right plating option is crucial for ensuring long-lasting performance and reliability. Two common methods for corrosion protection are hot-dipped galvanizing and zinc plating. Here, we’ll explore these options in detail, along with other plating options available in the industry.

Hot-Dipped Galvanizing

Application Process:

Hot-dipped galvanizing involves immersing the steel component in a bath of molten zinc. The zinc bonds metallurgically to the steel, forming a robust and durable coating. This process ensures comprehensive coverage, even in hard-to-reach areas, providing excellent protection against corrosion.


1. Complete Coverage: The immersion process ensures that every part of the steel component is coated, including edges and corners.

2. Durability: The metallurgical bond between the zinc and the steel creates a strong, durable coating that resists mechanical damage.

3. Environmental Friendliness: Hot-dipped galvanizing is more environmentally friendly than some other plating methods, as it uses pure zinc without additional harmful chemicals.

4. Self-Healing Properties: The zinc coating can self-heal minor scratches and abrasions, maintaining its protective qualities over time. This occurs because the zinc reacts with atmospheric moisture to form zinc oxide and zinc carbonate, which act as protective barriers.

Ideal Applications:

Hot-dipped galvanizing is well-suited for components exposed to harsh environments, such as marine, infrastructure, and heavy industrial applications. It is particularly effective in highly corrosive conditions, where long-term protection is essential.

Zinc Plating

Application Process:

Zinc plating, or electroplating, involves applying a thin layer of zinc to the steel component using an electrochemical process. The steel acts as the cathode, and zinc ions are deposited onto its surface from a zinc electrolyte solution.


1. Cost-Effective: Zinc plating is generally less expensive than hot-dipped galvanizing.

2. Smooth Finish: This method provides a smooth, aesthetically pleasing finish, which is beneficial for components where appearance is important.

3. Adequate Protection: While not as robust as hot-dipped galvanizing, zinc plating offers reasonable corrosion resistance for components not exposed to extreme environments.

4. Trivalent Chromium Options: Trivalent chromium zinc plating offers enhanced corrosion resistance and is more environmentally friendly compared to traditional hexavalent chromium plating. This type of plating is widely accepted due to its reduced toxicity and compliance with environmental regulations such as RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances).

Ideal Applications:

Zinc plating is suitable for less demanding environments, such as indoor applications or components that require a decorative finish. It is often used in automotive, electrical, and consumer goods industries.

Other Plating Options

Electroless Nickel Plating:

- Application Process: A chemical process deposits a layer of nickel-phosphorus alloy onto the steel surface without using an electric current.

- Benefits: Provides uniform coverage, excellent wear resistance, and superior corrosion resistance. Suitable for high-precision and high-durability applications.

Zinc-Nickel Alloy Plating:

- Application Process: Combines zinc and nickel to form a highly corrosion-resistant coating.

- Benefits: Offers superior protection in harsh environments, making it ideal for automotive, aerospace, and marine applications.

Dura-Kote Plating:

- Application Process: Proprietary technology offering enhanced corrosion resistance.

- Benefits: Provides up to 1,000 hours of corrosion resistance, suitable for highly corrosive environments requiring long-term durability.


Selecting the appropriate plating option for steel hydraulic fittings and adapters depends on the specific requirements and environmental conditions of your application. Hot-dipped galvanizing offers unmatched durability and comprehensive coverage for extreme conditions, while zinc plating provides a cost-effective solution for less demanding environments. Other advanced options like electroless nickel and zinc-nickel plating offer enhanced protection for specialized applications.