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topic 3416

Info needed: Chrome Plating and Anodizing


I am having a small quantity (3,000) of zinc die cast parts produced. They are of an oval shaped piece that is 1 1/4 x 1 7/8 x 5/16 thick. They need to be Chrome plated, as this unit is part of a handle, and will be subject to wear from use by the hands. Because of this wear factor, I would prefer the finish to be of Hard Chrome. I need to find a source to do this for me. The diecast company has suggested a zinc alloy of ASTM-AG40A. Would this alloy be a good choice or is there a better choice for plating? Strength is not a factor, but appearance is.

I also need to match the finish on an anodized part. Is there anywhere I can have this tested to tell me what the process is so I can find an anodizer to anodize this for me. Would anyone have any ideas or suggestions to help with any of this? Thanks.

Paul Kubinski
- Reno, NV


Actually, you don't want hard chrome. Please see our chrome FAQ.

Matching the color and texture of an anodized part should not really require lab testing. In all likelihood it's a sulfuric acid anodized part with an organic dye, and any anodizing shop will be able to make a reasonable approximation with a bit of trial-and-error work.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


I agree with Ted that Hard Chrome is not required for a decorative part like that. A good Nickel/Chrome would do, preceded by a good Copper Strike/Plate. I'm not familiar with that ASTM spec. for the Zinc. Most of the parts we plate are Zamak 3 or 7. I'm not sure of the percentages of other elements the type you stated but it's usually easy enough to modify the preplate cycle to accommodate it.

jim conner
Jim Conner
Anoplex - Dallas, Texas USA


Hi Paul , I agree with the others , you don't need hard chrome , you need a decorative finish , & preferably one that matches a good automotive specification . I would recommend that you look to have applied a good copper strike , followed by a "Duplex" Nickel coating , of not less than 1.5 thou thick with 1.0 thou being in "semi-bright" nickel the rest being in bright nickel and this then followed by chromium plating ( microcracked ) of a minimum of 20 millionths of an inch thickness .

This coating will withstand all the handling you require .

Of course to obtain an any way decent finish on Zinc diecast parts you will need to have them polished first , and that is the real tricky part finding a half way decent polisher who understands polishing diecast . For more help in both selecting the right plater & polisher I suggest that you call Solin Products Inc, Anaheim California. Henry is a supplier of plating technology in your area and has been in the business for many years , his knowledge of who does what , & where is encyclopedic , use my name as a point of introduction and I am sure you will get favorable service.

best regards

John Tenison-Woods
John Tenison - Woods
- Victoria Australia

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