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Modern Vehicle Brightware Trim
April 24, 2013
Q. As part of my university studies into materials engineering, I have been challenged to suggest three materials for the brightware trim that is so often seen around the windows of expensive, executive saloons.
Seeing as chrome plated ABS is often used as a cheaper alternative, what specific metals and finishing techniques would you suggest fit into this application?
In addition, a highly reflective chrome finish is most common, however what would be the best route to finish the metal black?
Student, Hobbyist - Crowborough, East Sussex, England
A. Hi Alastair. It's your project not ours, so consider any answers only as helpful hints steering you towards your independent answers, but:
Chrome plated ABS is not cheap compared to almost anything except chrome plated metal. Chrome plated brass is an ideal material from an appearance and corrosion resistance perspective, but probably too expensive and heavy for an automobile. "Chrome-look paint" is much less expensive than chrome plating. Electropolished stainless steel looks a lot like chrome plating.
For a black look, black chromium is a good choice if black paint won't do. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey