The Cromozero project

Beretta aims to revolutionize the world of weapon manufacturing, replacing chromium plating with a completely sustainable process.

The project


Nowadays Beretta uses hexavalent chromium for barrels internal treatment, a substance that the international research organizations, such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer  (IARC) and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) of the European Commission (EC), have identified as extremely dangerous for human health. Chromium plating guarantees barrel resistance in harsh environments and its durability over time.

For Beretta environmental sustainability and health caring are a priority and also a daily challenge. Although chromium is used in total safety inside a compartmentalized and automated system, we have decided to completely ban this material from the entire production process.

  • Environment and safety

    Since its origins, Beretta has been focused on the environment and on safety. For this reason, in addition to the achievement of the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 45001 (safety) certificates, the Company has obtained the Integrated Environmental Authorization (AIA).
    In this perspective, the personnel having access to the chromium plating area – limited to a few specialized technicians – is constantly monitored.

  • An alternative and innovative solution

    Due to its affordability and relative simplicity, it’s not easy to replace the chromium plating process, in particular if you are looking for alternative low-impact or zero-impact solutions.
    Thanks to the Life20 Cromozero project, carried out in partnership with Duralar Italia (from the merger of Duralar LLC USA and Galvanotechnik), a company with great experience in innovative surface treatments, Beretta aims to revolutionize the world of weapon manufacturing, replacing chromium plating with a completely sustainable process.


Coating type and deposition technology

The innovative part of this project – which aims to achieve a new sustainable, safe and effective process for internal coating of the barrels – concerns the type of “coating” and the deposition technology.

Coating type

Diamond Like Carbon (DLC)

  • In nature carbon exists in several forms according to the chemical bond. For example: graphite (“sheets” of sp2 bonds) and diamond (sp3 bonds).
  • Tearing carbon from molecules of certain gases – called precursors – it is possible to create an extremely thin film from a combination of sp2 and sp3 bonds.
  • These films are called DLC, they have a low friction coefficient, a high mechanical hardness and a great corrosion resistance.

Deposition technology

Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD)

PECVD process consists of the following steps:

  • The items to be coated are placed in a vacuum chamber.
  • Through special pumps, a vacuum is achieved into the chamber, removing air and other contaminants.
  • A controlled atmosphere of pure gas is created.
  • The gas is then ionized – plasma creation – through a specific generator.
  • Molecules are deposited and stratified inside the barrels creating a thin film.

Speed with precision

Velocità a precisione

Thanks to its technical knowledge, in the last years Duralar Italia has patented a PECVD process for DLC coatings deposition at high speed – up to ten times more efficient than the most commonly used methods - even inside hollow elements.
The patented system of Duralar Italia for the Life20 Cromozero project allows the deposition even inside barrels with a ratio between diameter and length greater than 1:40. This system has already been successfully tested on a single barrel prototype (starting TRL = 5).