plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Making Chrome Plated ABS match 435 Stainless Steel
August 23, 2010
Q. Is it possible to achieve a chrome plated appearance with ABS that would match a 435 stainless steel?Ellen Doyle
Program Engineer - Holland, Michigan
August 24, 2010
A. Hi, Ellen
ABS can be reliably chrome plated; most auto and truck grills are chrome plated ABS.
Bright chrome looks similar to bright stainless steel; some say it's indistinguishable. But I suspect that the issue may be that you want the chrome plating to match some sort of "brushed" or "matte finished" stainless steel. This is probably possible by taking the ABS parts through the nickel plating step and then sanding or bead blasting them. But it would add significantly to the cost, and a fair amount of development work might be required. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
October 5, 2013
Q. I am using ABS HH to do plating. The product is a sink strainer and it is used in kitchen sink. However, the chrome does not last for 6 months. I have done a boiling test and it does not last for 2 hours in boiling water. I need it to last for 6 hours that is equal to 1 year usage.
Do you see any short coming in the technology used in kitchenware?Ho Yeong Cherng
October 9, 2013
A. I would not buy an ABS sink strainer with a life expectancy of one year.
Why not go for the obvious design option of making this from stainless - preferably the same grade as the sink.
You will please your customers and I would be surprised if the cost difference is noticeable.
October 9, 2013
A. In my old age I either never knew or do not remember what ABS HH is. If that is a plastic, basically no plate can stand the difference in coefficient of expansion difference.
From your pictures I think that you need to do a better activation of the parent material. If nothing else works, do a nickel strike, a quick rinse and into the chrome tank--probably hot at a low voltage.
- Navarre, Florida