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"Is this Satin Chrome or Paint?"

January 28, 2010

We are, like many, importers of Peoples Republic of China made goods.

A recent arrival was spec'd as satin chrome. The surface is so matte in appearance you could believe it to be a powder coat.

The back side of the item gives the appearance of a metal plated over unfinished, cold rolled stock. Some areas are blotched, others fairly shiny. The inside corners show rust.

What is a simple, sure fire test to determine whether this is merely a low luster, satin chrome or powder coat?

Irwin Richman
Buyer - Cleveland, Ohio, USA

January 29, 2010

Hi, Irwin. I don't quite understand the question in that the parts are utterly unsatisfactory, so why does it matter?   :-)

But you can microsection them, give them a quick dip in muriatic acid to strip the chrome, or do an x-ray fluorescence test. Good luck.


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

First of two simultaneous responses -- January 29, 2010

Well I suppose if it scratches very easily with a common screw driver its not chrome. If its hard to scratch its probably chrome. The simplest test I can think of.

rod henrickson
Rod Henrickson

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Second of two simultaneous responses -- January 30, 2010

Paint, no matter how well cured, is plastic and is softer. Real decorative chrome (in fact nickel+chrome) is a hard metallic surface. You can scratch with a sharp knife.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

February 1, 2010

A simple and non-destructive test can be done using an electrical multimeter on an ohms range. A plastic will not conduct current.

Harry Parkes
- Birmingham, UK

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