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chroming plastic 

 

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 Post subject: chroming plastic
Posted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:44 pm 
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as the title would suggest i have some plastic that i want a chrome finish on. (a new grille). im wondering if this is achieved usually via painting, or some chemical process? im guessing you cant electroplate it, but is there something similar for plastic?
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 Post subject: Re: chroming plastic
Posted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:51 pm 
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This is what you want. Located in Carramar WA
Fantachrome

 

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 Post subject: Re: chroming plastic
Posted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:07 pm 
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will give them a call on monday. anyone had any dealings with this company or method before?
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 Post subject: Re: chroming plastic
Posted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:00 am 
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I haven't used that company before and it looks like they use a spray paint technology. It's hard to say how well that finish will hold up as it will be similar to the chrome film sign writers use. A couple of coats of 2K clear may help to protect he finish.

I tried to get a hold of some a few years back but that spray on chrome paint was obscenely priced.

At the end of the day the better the surface finish on the part the better part will look once chromed as any scratches, dents or gaps will be highlighted by the chroming process.
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 Post subject: Re: chroming plastic
Posted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:19 am 
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Chroming plastic is done all the time, although there is only a small range of plastics it can be done to. Many kids toys were chrome plated when it was in fashion along with countless other items for the home and car.
As long as the surface can be activated with the special pretreatment that is used, then an electrodeposited layer can be applied. Usually it is a thin layer of copper (copper is the best undercoat as it will stick to most surfaces, with cyanide based and acid based solutions for different applications), followed by nickel and then a flash of chrome to finish it off. As it is a decorative finish and not an engineering finish there may not be too many that will do it, as it all depends on the fashion of the day and its popularity, plus Australia doesn't do much in the way of manufacturing cheap shiny s**t these days.
If your item to be coated isn't very smooth and shiny to begin with, you won't end up with a great looking product unless you can polish all the defects out. Don't expect the electroplaters to polish it for you as they only have metal polishing facilities which would rip the soft plastic component to pieces.
Electroplated plastics tend to delaminate easier than metals due to the adhesion factor of the activation process, so it isn't advisable to place the plastic under any duress such as warpage or in an abrasive environment.

 

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 Post subject: Re: chroming plastic
Posted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:47 pm 
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its for a car grille. do you know any places that would do this plating process? should i try asking metal platers and seeing what snowballs from there?
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 Post subject: Re: chroming plastic
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:12 am 
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All I can suggest is to phone around and see if anyone does it. It will help if you give them the dimensions too, their preprep tanks may not be big enough for your article if they are just doing small stuff. There could be one jobbing shop in your city that does it, otherwise see if there are any in-house electroplating workshops that may take on outside work. Printed circuit manufacturers use this setup to plate in the holes of the copper-clad fibreglass circuit boards. The bigger their setup, the more likely it is to be an automatic line and it may not be possible to do your grille. If there is a small circuit board manufacturer in your area that runs a manually operated line they might just be the answer. However they would only be able to give the grille a good coating of copper, then you would have to take it to another plating shop that does chroming. All they would then do is acid dip the copper coated article and plate up with nickel and then chrome. Good luck.

 

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 Post subject: Re: chroming plastic
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:54 am 
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seems like alot of assing around lol. its for an fg fpv grille, to go with an fpv front end ive scored. would be easier to just spray it black, but was hoping to get this look.
i like the look of the chrome surrounds

 

 

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