Chrome Plating and Its Advantages
The largest consumer of chrome is the automotive business, which makes use of the material for vehicle trim and accessories. Chrome is now a more popular finish in other businesses as well, and is now being used to plate everything, from home fixtures to fishing instruments.
Since it was determined that chrome is both attractive and heavy-duty, it has been a precious material to the car industry. When the sector started to prefer plastic over steel, thanks to its cost-efficiency and lightweight durability, the only setback was that it was deficient in the luster of metallic parts.
This issue was resolved during the 1970s, when electroplating ABS plastics was developed as a process, and plastic parts were then plated with chrome to lend them a very bright finish. Chrome trim attained its peak usage in North America, in which it was insanely popular, within the late 1980s and early 1990s; since 1993, its popularity has increased by half in Europe, and has nearly doubled in the United Kingdom.
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Chrome plating never oxidizes or corrodes, and can stand harsh weather conditions and temperatures. As well, it is easy to care for, and has a very bright and attractive finish, making it a highly preferred material for automotive trim and accessories.
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Chrome plating can be performed on new components at the factory, or it can be done for a certain consumer by a custom shop offering custom plating or metal finishing services. Consumers can buy parts plated at various companies specializing in electroplating, and some automotive finishers have significant chrome plating experience.
As plated components don’t have to be discarded when they are damaged, chrome plating is indeed advantageous. Instead, they may simply be re-plated or refurbished, allowing consumers to save time and money, controlling waste and eradicating the need to purchase replacement parts. Stripping and re-plating a part makes it like new again, or sometimes even better than new, and can be cheaper than getting a brand new component. Recycling old parts isn’t only more cost-effective for consumers but also less harmful to the environment.
Chrome is the best finish for household fixtures too, and for the same reasons that make it in demand as an automotive finish. Plenty of household items are chrome-plated today, from sinks to bathroom fittings to brackets to door handles and a lot more.
Some items were once plated with other metals like silver and copper, but these were pricey, albeit aesthetically outstanding. They were less durable too in that they corroded, tarnished or reacted with chemicals, or simply deteriorated over time. As chrome plating makes for a beautiful finish without these disadvantages, it has now replaced several other materials for the said fixtures.