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Chrome Plating Aluminium Die Castings

Hello Everyone.

My company produces small domestic appliances and we are keen to have a very bright finish to our Aluminium die casting. We have tried polishing but the shape is very challenging. We have tried Cr plating but we do not seem to have much success. We have these parts made in China. I have gone through this website many times to find an answer but have not. I have gleaned that the way forward is to Zincate, then Cu, then Ni then Cr. Is this likely to succeed or is it impossible on a die casting to achieve a very low scrap rate. Is a bright Ni finish any more likely to succeed? Are there very bright anodized finishes. Can Magnesium castings take a Cr finish with success? We know Zinc castings are far less problematic for like they are USD$4 more expensive. If there is an answer on the web then please point me in the direction. I did not realise that the finishing process was so scientific.

Paul Palmer
product designer - Portsmouth, England
September 24, 2008

Hi, Paul.

Plating on aluminum does introduce an extra process that can be difficult for the plating shop to perfect to achieve a low scrap rate, but it is by no means impossible. Nearly all chrome plated wheels today are pressure-cast aluminum; chain guards and other beautiful chrome plating on Harleys and other motorcycles is chrome plated aluminum; the blade guards on some circular saws are chrome plated aluminum -- as a few quick examples. It's very doable. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
September 24, 2008

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