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"Chroming carbon fiber/plastic"



Current question:

September 16, 2021

Q. Yes I am trying to get chrome finish side trim and front trim for a C7 Corvette they only come in carbon fiber. Does anybody know if this can be coated or plated to have a chrome finish?

20193-1

Daniel Livesay
- Springfield Missouri
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  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^

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Ed. note: As always, gentle readers, technical replies in public and commercial replies in private please ( huh? why?)


September 2021

A. Hi. "Chrome-look paint" is probably the practical answer because real chrome electroplating will be very expensive and impractical, and although vacuum metallizing could theoretically work, vacuum processing is usually not practical for onesy-twosy stuff.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

2003

Q. I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO CHROME CARBON FIBER AND PLASTIC MOTORCYCLE PARTS. I'VE BEEN TOLD THIS IS NOW POSSIBLE. IS THERE AN INEXPENSIVE WAY TO ACCOMPLISH THIS.

CHARLES R. LAMM
- CORBIN, Kentucky, USA
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^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated


2003

A. Inexpensive is relative. Done in ones and twos, it is expensive to most people.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida
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2003

A. To chrome plastics is not really what you want. Using a process called vacuum metallizing you can achieve the reflective chrome look you are looking for.

Glenn Mueller
- East Bridgewater, Massachusetts
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2003

A. There is sometimes a semantics problem here when a consumer asks about chrome plating or chroming because our reaction is to assume that when they say chrome they mean real coper-nickel-chrome electroplating. But what they sometimes mean is "something quite shiny and metallic looking". Mr. Watts is certainly correct that chrome plating of plastics is expensive, especially in low volume. Glenn is correct that vacuum metallizing is another approach to a shiny metallic-looking finish, but usually not practical for one or two items, and the shops tend to be afraid of contaminating their machine. There are also paints and powder coatings today ("chrome-look paint") that are quite shiny and metallic looking, and this is probably the most practical approach.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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