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topic 2265

Tough metallic coatings for nonmetallic composite panels


I am interested in coating medium-size irregularly-shaped carbon fiber or fiberglass panels with a tough metallic (preferably stainless steel) coat. The coat would only need to be on one side, and it should be thick enough that after coating, it could be brushed.

Is there a simple and safe method (molten metal spray deposition or something?) that could be used to achieve this? Would it be possible to do safely in one's own garage? If not, what companies might offer this service, and what kind of cost would I be looking at? (Answering this last question to within an order of magnitude would be entirely sufficient.)

Thank you,

Eric Altendorf


It is feasible to plate the composite with stainless steel. I do not know if there are electroplting methods for a garage (considering hazards) type operation. PVD methods are in use for this purpose. The cost: it depends on the quantity to be plated and the batch size. Do not expect equipment costs less that $100k for production apparatus.

Mandar Sunthankar
- Fort Collins, Colorado



I would suggest that you laminate a thin metal coating to your panel of you can. If the surface is contoured you can arc-wire a metal coating onto the surface. This is done to wood and all kinds of temperature sensitive surfaces.

Donald M. Mattox
Society of Vacuum Coaters
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Ed. note:
            Mr. Mattox is
            the author of -->


There is a method by wich you can use an HVLP paint spray system and coat using real metal particles, and yes it can be brushed. It is also possible that the product can be rolled on. The product is not a suspension of metal flake but is homogenized to have the look and feel of metal.

Terry Gould
Cold homogenized metal spray - Oxnard, California, USA

August 26, 2009

Where you able to obtain the tough metallic coating you were seeking?

Terry Gould
- Oxnard, California, USA

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