Going by my usual self-teaching method, I've done some looking into on plating, and I had some questions:
I understand that if you take a more reactive metal, and combine it with a less reactive metal-compound, the more reactive metal will displace the less reactive metal. Seems easy enough. If the two reactants are solid, apply heat to make the reaction happen. If the less reactive metal-compound is in a solution, just dump the more reactive metal in there and wait a week.
So being that I learn best by practical application, I got to thinking how I could chrome-plate pieces of my engine compartment. I looked all over the place (I do not have a reactivity metal list, nor could I find one), and I couldn't find how reactive chromium is in relation to iron. I'm going on the assumption that chromium is less reactive than iron, but more of my thoughts on that later. So I take a head bolt for instance, nice and iron-like. Chromium, I read from some elements page, is very NOT soluble in water. But I need a compound anyhow, and a chromium salt should be a lot more soluble in water. I looked into chromium oxide, but thats some nasty green color, and will the iron displace the chromium, leaving me with a chrome plated head bolt?
As far as reactivity of certain metals, its all listed in some table somewhere I'm still hunting for. No big deal, I'll find it eventually. What about metal compounds? Lets take sodium chloride for instance: Sodium is really reactive stuff! At lot more than, say, iron. But if you tack on chlorine to it, the whole deal changes. Is there a relatively simple way to figure out reactivity of a metal compound in relation to a metal element? Also, is there a better chromium-salt I could use, providing that this will even work?
And I will use a "normal" heating method this time, not my crazy themite idea. Its engine parts we're dealing with here! (very valuable and melty-sensitive, not that my life isn't of course)