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I am currently trying to find information regarding auto-phoretic chrome. We have heard that it is a possible finishing alternative many auto manufacturers have been using in their parts. The problem is, we are having trouble finding information regarding what exactly auto-phoretic chrome is, the cost, who in the industry is using it, and how it compares to other finishing processes. I was hoping you would be able to give suggestions in helping me find more information about my topic.
Thank you,Megan Fish
stamping/plating - Lima, Ohio, US
I am familiar with Autophoretic® (a trademark of Henkel) coatings, and they are very widely used on automobile underbody parts. But I don't think they have anything to do with chrome. They are somewhat analogous to electrocoated paints, but the catalyzing mechanism is electroless rather than requiring electricity. They are for functional parts, and I don't believe that people consider the coating decorative or chrome-like.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha
There are a couple of alternatives to chrome plating available on the market today. One would be a silver nitrating system. This is similar to how mirrors are made, it will produce a mirror finish. However, it will need to be topcoated and will only be as durable as the topcoat you apply over the part. So, if it is for signage that won't be handled or abused, it would be a decent (and cheaper) alternative to chrome plating. Keep in mind this system is expensive to start up as you will be buying new equipment.
If you don't need a mirror finish, but a paint that is 'mirror-like', there are new chrome-like coatings available today (wink). These coatings can be used in your existing spray equipment, but also are only durable as the topcoat over the part.
Hope that helps you.
G. J. Nikolas &Co.,Inc.