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topic 163

How to do chroming of plastic


(1999)

I have been trying to find someone who can explain how plastic chroming is performed, the equipment & materials needed for the process. I am interested in starting a small business. I am located in Tasmania (AUSTRALIA). I would be grateful for some help.Thank you NOEL.

Noel Percy
Hobart TAS/AUSTRALIA

chrome paint   Gold Touch   J G Nikolas   M and M Metallizing


(1999)

Hi Noel,

Please see our Introduction to Chrome Plating to learn what chrome plating is about. I'm sure you'll find it interesting.

Any electroplating is difficult, chromium plating is more so, and chromium plating of plastic is one of the more complicated processes in the industry. Frankly, I don't think it is for someone who doesn't have significant experience in plating. The process sequence involves cleaning, chromic acid etching, seeding, catalyst, electroless nickel plating, electrolytic copper plating, electrolytic semi-bright nickel plating, bright nickel plating and, finally, chrome plating as a bare minimum. You might consider taking a Kushner Electroplating School training course, attending some AESF professional society meetings, and probably hiring a consultant. Considering the toxic waste that will be generated, the requirement for wastewater treatment, the exhaust ventilation and scrubbing equipment, nickel itch disease, the carcinogenic aspect of chromic acid, etc., I hope you're not envisioning a REALLY small business because there really is a minimum practical size.

Try to find the book STANDARDS & GUIDELINES FOR ELECTROPLATED PLASTICS if at all possible because it's the real deal; other books on the topic, such as "Metallized Plastics: Fundamentals and Applications" [link is to product info at Amazon] are available as well. Good luck to you!

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


(2007)

YOU CAN CHROME PLASTIC BUT HERE IS THE TRUTH OF IT.
what I AM TALKING ABOUT IS ACTUALLY A VERY EXPENSIVE PAINT SYSTEM THAT USES A BASE COAT AND THE CHROME IS ACTUALLY A SILVER DEPOSIT THAT SITS ON TOP OF THE BASE COAT TO CREATE A MIRROR FINISH. THEN YOU PUT ON A TOP COAT TO PROTECT AND SANDWICH THE SILVER IN BETWEEN THE 2 COATS. HOPE THAT HELPS
SINCERELY, JEFF

JEFF GODO
Newport, Michigan


November 13, 2008

Jeff is actually referring to "chrome-look" paint, as opposed to real chrome plating. And chrome-look paint is not only much better than it was just a few years ago, but is far more practical for hobbyists given the environmental requirements for real chrome plating.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



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