An attempt has been made to develop an eco-friendly trivalent black hard chromium process as an alternate to hexavalent chrome plating for industrial steel components. Vicker's hardness and A.C impedance studies revealed that the coatings exhibit high hardness and good corrosion than mild steel in sea water medium. XRD and SEM results confirmed precipitation of chromium on iron matrix which improved the mechanical properties on the heat treated mild steel surface coated by trivalent chromium. The optical properties of black coatings obtained by trivalent chromium and Ni-Cu-Co based electro plating baths were evaluated. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.