plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Scratches on chrome plated surfaces
I have audio amplifiers with the front panels finished in decorative chrome. While I really like the look, especially when it gleams, I am frustrated always to find fine scratches under close examination. Why is this so? Is there a buffing process after chrome plating that causes this?
I have also noticed variations in the 'colour' of the finish, sometimes yellower, sometimes more neutral. Am I right to say that the first case is due to too thin a layer of chrome applied?
Finally, I wish to know if there is a safe way of polishing decorative chrome plated surfaces. I once tried a mild liquid version of Autosol but ended up brushing many lines onto the surface. Thanks.
Chrome doesn't scratch real easily; it's very hard. But it's nearly impossible to say where the scratches came from.
Decorative chrome is actually nickel plating followed by a very thin layer of chrome plating. Nickel does have a slightly yellowish cast to it, and tarnishes pretty readily; I suppose it's possible that the units that you feel are yellowish aren't even chrome plated.
Speaking from my experience as a chrome-horse enthusiast, I always felt that garden-variety auto wax worked well on cleaning chrome.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
I have just had a bump on my motorcycle, with the damage being scratches on my chrome side and front bars. Is there anyway to tidy these up and restore them to their former glory? Thank you to anyone that replies.Paul Swift
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