Chromium is a chemical element with symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard and brittle metal which takes a high polish, resists tarnishing, and has a high melting point.
Chromium metal has proven of high value due to its high corrosion resistance and hardness. A major development was the discovery that steel could be made highly resistant to corrosion and discoloration by adding metallic chromium to form stainless steel. This application, along with chrome plating (electroplating with chromium) currently comprise 85% of the commercial use for the element, with applications for chromium compounds forming the remainder.