Benefits of Chrome Plating
The most sizable consumer of chrome is the automotive industry, which uses the material for vehicle trim and accessories. Chrome has become a more popular finish in other industries too, and is now being used to plate everything, from domestic fixtures to fishing baits.
Since it was known that chrome is both attractive and resilient, it has been an indispensable 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 was solved in the 1970s, when the ABS plastic electroplating process was developed, and plastic components were now plated with chrome to prove them an super-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 purchase parts plated at several companies that specialize in electroplating, and some automotive finishers have significant experience with chrome plating.
Chrome plating is advantageous, considering plated components need not be disposed of when they are damaged. Rather, they may be simply re-plated or refurbished, saving money and time for consumers, minimizing the waste and foregoing the need to buy 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 cheaper for consumers but also friendlier to the environment.
Chrome is also the best finish for home fixtures, and for exactly the same reasons behind its popularity in the automotive world. 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. Chrome plating is an attractive finish, and doesn’t come with any of these disadvantages, which is why it has replaced a lot of other plating materials for such fixtures.