Are you confused on what hard chrome plating is? What is it for and how it is applied? Hard chrome plating is basically a heavy chrome coating applied on copper, metal, steel and nickel surfaces which need a boost in anti-corrosive properties. Hard chrome plating is a lot more thicker compared to decorative chrome plating and is a lot more durable. Its thickness will depend on the total amount of time that the object to be chromed is placed inside the vat. The longer the object is submerged in the chromium vat, the thicker the plating is.