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Chromium is one of the most common elements found in nature thanks to its physical properties as it has a high melting point, inertness to the effects of harsh environments and a high affinity with oxygen). It has found a wide practical application since the early 19th century.

POLEMA is a major global producer of the unique pure electrolytic chromium used in heat-resistant superalloy metallurgy, in electronics (in combination with copper), in technologies for depositing thin films and functional coatings using PVD methods when producing electronic parts, large-format displays, tools, watch cases, household appliances, tinted glass, car parts and accessories, machines and instruments, and for other purposes. Electrolytic refined chromium is used in lamellar form or in the form of grist in technologies for depositing thin films in vacuum using the thermal vaporization method; and in the form of compact parts of various shapes for spraying with an ion bombardment or arc vaporization. To manufacture products using powder metallurgy (PM) methods, ERCr chromium in lamellar form is subjected to mechanical grinding into PM-ERCr powder.

The industrial production of electrolytic chromium, pioneered at Tulachermet in 1964, included the procedure of extracting the metal from a solution of chromium anhydride (electrolysis) followed by thermal cleansing in hydrogen of a cathode deposit known under the trademark ECr.

In 2006 chromium production was overhauled by moving the electrolysis unit to the outskirts of the industrial zone, into an environmentally purer area. The new electrolysis division is equipped with modern equipment,  automated control and monitoring systems for all parameters of the technological process. The resulting primary product, ECr, has a purity of 99.992 - 99.996 % for its basic element (not counting O, N, C, S, Cl, P, F, H).

Refining primary chromium in extremely pure hydrogen makes it possible to achieve the unique pure industrial chromium, ERCr, in the form of thin flakes with a low content of gas-forming elements. The total content of impurities in 99.99 ERCr chromium does not exceed 0.01% (not counting O, N, C, S, Cl, P, F, H).

The following chromium products are currently manufactured:

  • unrefined electrolytic chromium ECr and refined chromium ERCr-0, ERCr-1, ERCr-2;
  • powders and grit from ERCr chromium;
  • products made from ERCr-MP for sputtering targets and evaporable sources.