In recent decades, chrome plating has become one of the most popular metallic finishes available, and it is widely used in several industries.
The automotive industry is the single largest consumer of chrome plating, which appears on trim and accessories for many cars and motorcycles.
Other industries have been picking up on this trend, and chrome plating is now utilized for household fixtures and fittings as well, and even fishing lures. In recent years, chrome plating is available in satin finishes also. Satin chrome is a good aesthetic match for stainless steel and aluminum finishes.
Chrome is both attractive and durable, and as such, it has become a staple finish in the automotive industry. At one time, steel was used for car bumpers and body parts; however, it was later discovered that plastic was lighter, cheaper, and easier to manufacture.
The only problem with plastic components was that they were not as shiny and attractive as metal parts. During the 1970s, this problem was solved with the advent of a technique for electroplating plastic components with metallic finishes, thereby offering all of the advantages of plastic parts, as well as the beauty of metal. Chrome trim was always more popular in North America than in other parts of the world, and reached its peak usage there during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
It has steadily increased in popularity in other areas of the world as well; its popularity has risen by 50% in Europe, since 1993, and has almost doubled in the United Kingdom during the same period. Chrome plating’s resistance to oxidation and corrosion, its ability to withstand environmental extremes, its ease of care, and its ultra-bright specular finish make it an ideal plating material for automotive trim and accessories.
Components can come from the factory already chrome-plated, or they can be plated by the consumer after vehicle purchase. There are many companies which specialize in electroplating, and many automotive finishers which specialize in just chrome plating. Aside from its other advantages, chrome plating is also advantageous because it saves consumers time and money in searching for and purchasing new parts for their vehicle, as damaged or worn parts can simply be re-plated instead of being replaced.
This process is more cost-effective than purchasing a new part, and also reduces waste and, therefore, environmental impact.
Household fixtures are often plated with chrome, because they require many of the same qualities of vehicle trim. Bathroom fittings, doorknobs, handles and many other household items are often plated with chrome.
Before chrome, these items were sometimes plated with silver, copper or brass but they were difficult to maintain. Silver plating tarnishes, copper plating corrodes, brass plating is prone to verdi gris corrosion;chrome plating is as aesthetically pleasing as other metals, if not more so, and doesn’t have any of the disadvantages of these other metals.
The versatility, beauty, durability and easy cleaning of chrome plating have made it one of the most popular metallic finishes. It is particularly popular in the automotive industry, but it has been becoming a more popular finish for household fixtures and other applications as well. Chrome’s durability, resistance to wear and beautiful finish have made it a popular choice for a variety of applications, including house-wares and automotive components.
Post time: 02-05-2017