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Bad chrome plating?

Q. Hello,

I am writing to you concerning a bumper that I had rechromed. It has been stored in a spare room at my house for two years, while my car was being restored. When it was time to put this bumper on my car I noticed that it was peeling and pitting. This to me did not seem normal. I would like your opinion concerning this matter. I also had another bumper stored in the same room, which has not been rechromed and has not peeled or pitted.

32972-1   32972-2

Please respond to this matter about whether you think that this is normal or not and what caused this to happen.


Kurt Decker
TV tech - Columbus, Ohio

simultaneous replies

A. A properly chrome plated bumper should not peel or pit, especially is stored indoors. Going by what you have given us and not knowing any other factors, it sounds like you got a terrible plate job.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

A. Properly done, chrome plating should never peel. If it does, it is defective, and the plater is at fault. Period. I believe we are not supposed to give commercial endorsements here, but I can suggest you search out a plating shop which replates thousands of bumpers per year, and which guarantees their work. You'll also likely be pleased to find they charge less than whoever did the shoddy work for you.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

A. Chrome plating on bumpers is either nickel chrome or copper nickel chrome. If it is peeling and you have not bent the bumper then it was probably not properly handled at some stage of the plating or pretreatment process resulting in a delayed peel. The pitting should have been apparent when you received the bumper back from the plater.

What does the plater have to say about it! Talk to them and they may just say send it back. If they don't then you might want to learn more about quality plating.

Gene Packman
process supplier - Great Neck, New York

Q. What happens to chrome bumpers if left outside all day in rain wind snow and put in a dry warm garage still wet and left overnight and this process repeated for over a year. And can you also tell me if chrome is porous? Thank you.

Ray White
- Uk
July 7, 2016

July 2016

thumbs up signI give up, what happens to them?
I've never known anyone to do that. Are you running like a hubcap shop for bumpers, where you take them out every morning to display them to passing cars, then put them indoors for the night so they're not stolen? Still, it shouldn't be terribly different from a commuter simply parking their car in a garage every night, which isn't a problem. But please tell us your own situation rather than presenting a vague, abstract, hypothetical one -- and then we can probably answer better. Thanks.

Chrome is not porous in the sense that you are probably thinking of, although the chrome layer on top of the nickel layer(s) may be deliberately microporous to spread out the corrosive potential rather than concentrating it.


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

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