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Chrome Plating on ABS Plastics is Too Rough

Q. We are facing a problem with chrome plating plastic ABS. What happens is that the chrome plating is not smooth. We get small holes (pin points) on the finished surface. We would be really grateful if someone could suggest something so that we can get rid of the small holes and can get an even coating without the pin heads.

Shahid Aziz
- Pakistan

"Plating of plastics with metals"
by John McDermott

on AbeBooks

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A. Try adding a wetting agent to your nickel tank depending on how big your tank is and how bad the pits are usually 1 pint is a good starting place; usually the problem is to many organics in your solution. It might help to dummy your tank over night on about 4 volts.

James Strickland
- Lexington, North Carolina

Q. Why are there so few ABS plastic chroming places left? I have tried to find places that will chrome my 2 ABS sidecovers off my motorcycle and have no luck.

Howard Williams
- Sterling,Virginia

A. There are few plating shops, Howard, because electroplating was the first categorically regulated industry in America.

Corporate America immediately closed their in-house plating facilities and ran for the hills, washing their hands of the responsibility, leaving Mom & Pop Plater to do their dirty work for them and hold the bag. Mom & Pop couldn't afford the regulations, and everyone hates a job that involves being publicly lambasted both by the media & your children's teachers, being fined & harassed to death by swarms of agents, and threatened with jail by slimy politicians.

I am not saying the environmental pressures were wrong, nor am I asking anyone to "pity the poor plater". I'm only providing a truthful answer to your question: there are very few platers anymore because no one owning a plating shop can sleep, so most people who could get out got out.

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

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