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topic 59273

Chrome Plating Stainless Steel with Aluminum Backing -- possible to not mask the Aluminum?

May 20, 2013

Q. We would like to Chrome Plate a 300 Series Stainless Steel part which has an Aluminum backing, and would like to avoid having to mask the Aluminum.

We think this may be possible because we had heard M&T Chemicals developed a chrome plating solution back in the late 1970's - early 1980's that could be used to "flash chrome" a Clad Metal Product - Stainless Steel/Aluminum Auto Trim.

Does anyone have any information pertaining to the chemicals and/or process supposedly developed by M&T?

If anyone has contact information for former employee(s) of M&T who could help - please provide whatever contact information possible.

Also, if anyone knows of any present day company that can provide chemical plating solution and/or technical support - please provide whatever contact information possible.

Thank you

Joseph Mennucci
- Attleboro, Massachusetts, USA

May 23, 2013

A. Hi Joseph. I am not personally familiar with this application although I am one of those late 1970's/early 1980's M&T employees, but I don't dismiss the possibility. Atotech is the successor to M&T Chemicals, so you can inquire of them if you wish. Chromic acid is a very powerful oxidizer, and aluminum tends to be resistant to oxidizing acids. As long as fluoride catalysts are avoided, I'm not sure it would even require special chemistry. Good luck.


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

May 23, 2013

A. You could PVD coat the part with a chrome appearing hard nitride, particularly if all you need is the chrome look. It would have to be done carefully because of the difference in thermal expansion of the stainless steel and aluminum. It would seem easier than plating the parts.

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Jim Treglio - scwineryreview.com
PVD Consultant & Wine Lover - San Diego, California

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