How to Find a Chrome Plating Company in Maryland

Chrome is a naturally occurring metal that is used to plate objects requiring a shiny lustrous finish. Plating can be found on vintage car bumpers and rims, bicycle wheels, lighting fixtures and other assorted goods. Chrome plating businesses specialize in re-chroming an object once its old plating has been removed, usually because of excessive pitting, chipping or scratching. Because chroming an object is a very difficult specialized task, professional service is recommended. If you live in the state of Maryland, locating a trusted chrome plating company is simple.

Instructions

  1. Visit a local auto body shop. Much of a chrome plating company’s business comes in the form of referrals from auto repair shop staff. Customers who bring in vintage vehicles for repair often ask about chrome refurbishment, and are often relayed to local chrome plating companies.
  2. Consult with a local bike shop. Bicycle shops are a great resource for finding a chrome plating company for the same reason as auto body shops. As bike shop staff help customers with vintage bike overhaul, which often includes refurbishing many chrome-plated parts, they will often be happy to provide you with local resources.
  3. Talk to chrome hobbyists. Whether it be your friend who works on classic hot rods or your neighbor who restores antique lighting fixtures, chances are they have had something professionally chromed before. If you like the look of their re-chromed pieces, ask them for information regarding the company they patronized.
  4. Perform an online search. The Internet will return many local results for a search of “Maryland chome plating.” For some listings you may be able to read customer reviews, see photos of their chrome work or even apply for an online estimate.

How to Remove Rust From Chrome Plating Without Damaging the Chrome

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Chrome plating is the process of attaching a thin layer of chrome onto another metal. One of the main reasons for chrome plating is to give an object a lustrous silver finish. Furniture, decorative objects, small appliances and jewelry are just some of the objects that use chrome plating. As a metal, however, the chrome can form rust. This mostly occurs when the rust-proof coating on the chrome wears off and then the chrome plating gets exposed to moisture or water. Removing rust from chrome plating is a delicate procedure because you don’t want to damage or remove the plating.


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Step 1:Scrub off the rust gently with a fine steel wool pad. Fine steel wool is effective in scrubbing away surface rust without damaging the underlying material reports Society of American Silversmith website.

Step 2:Make a paste in a bowl of two parts lime juice and one part salt. This is a non-toxic and gentle way to remove rust. Lime juice has citric acid that helps in removing rust and the tiny grains of salt offer a scrubbing action on the rust.

Step 3:Apply the paste to the chrome plating with a paper towel. Use paste only on the rusted areas.

Step 4:Leave the paste on the chrome plating for two to three hours for best results.

Step 5:Wet a sponge and wipe away the paste completely.

Step 6:Dry the chrome with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Step 7:Repeat Steps 2 through 5 if rust remains on the chrome plating.

How to Clean Chrome Plated Plastic

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Any chrome surfaces actually consist of an extremely thin layer of chrome plated onto another material. Regardless of what that other material is, from plastic to steel to aluminum, this chrome plated is what needs to be addressed when the time comes to clean it. You can always buy a special chrome cleaner, but there are several items in your home that work just as well and are far less expensive.

Toothpaste Method

  1. Spread a thin layer of toothpaste on the surface of the chrome plating. Use the opaque white toothpaste, not one of the gel varieties.
  2. Rub the toothpaste-covered chrome plating with a soft, clean cloth in small circular and swirling patterns. There is no need to apply a lot of force.
  3. Take a fresh cloth and wipe away the toothpaste, revealing a shining, clean surface.

Vinegar Method

  1. Pour undiluted distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the surface of the chrome plating with the undiluted vinegar.
  3. Wipe down the surface with a clean cloth.

Baby Oil Method

  1. Dampen a portion of a soft cloth with baby oil.
  2. Rub the baby oil into the chrome plating in the same manner as you did with the toothpaste.
  3. Wipe off excess baby oil with a fresh cloth or a still fresh portion of the same cloth.
  4. Wipe down the newly cleaned area with soapy water to remove any greasy feeling from the baby oil, if desired.

How To Repair Chrome Plating

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The word “chrome” is short for chromium — a metal rarely found in a solid form. Instead, chrome plating — a thin layer of the metal — is applied to more durable materials. Chrome plating can be found on everything from car bumpers to bathroom fixtures. Over time, chrome plating can get dirty or rust. There are steps you can take to repair and restore the look of your chrome plating.

Instructions

  1. Clean your chrome surface thoroughly using a soft rag and water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Use a small amount of baby oil to remove any dirt or stains from your chrome plating that weren’t removed. You can also use white vinegar to remove hard water stains.
  3. Apply chrome polish to another rag. There are different varieties of chrome polish, including liquid and cream-based polishes. The experts at Auto Media further separate chrome polish into abrasive and non-abrasive varieties. If you’re unsure what kind to use on your restoration project, select a non-abrasive polish. This kind is less likely to scratch the chrome plating, leading to further damage.
  4. Remove heavy rust by applying chrome polish with steel wool. This step may not be necessary if earlier steps solved the problem. Scrub as hard as necessary to remove the rust. An alternative to chrome polish and steel wool for this step is sandpaper.
  5. Apply a layer of primer and chrome paint to the damaged area to achieve the look of chrome plating.

How to De-Chrome Rims

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Chrome plating on wheel rims is applied using an electroplating process. Of the two types of plating, hard and decorative, wheel rims are considered decorative plating, consisting of a thin chromium layer on top of a thicker nickel plating. The combination of these two metals produce chrome’s characteristic shine, with most of it coming from the nickel plating. Although chrome is best removed by electroplating professionals, it can be removed at home, provided the proper equipment is at hand and proper safety precautions are taken. Before removing the rim’s chrome plating, remove the wheels from the vehicle and the tires from the rims. You can immerse the rims in a corrosive liquid or blast off the chrome finish, either method will work.

Acid Removal

  1. Fill a container large enough to hold the rim with muriatic acid. The acid level should be sufficient to submerge all the chrome on the rim. Be sure to read all product warnings for muriatic acid and have the proper safety equipment. Muriatic acid is highly corrosive.
  2. Let the rim soak in the acid until it stops bubbling. This should effectively remove the thin chromium layer.
  3. Remove the rim from the solution and rinse it off with water. As muriatic acid is thinned hydrochloric acid and considered a hazardous substance, be sure to properly dispose of it at your local recycling center. What remains is the nickel plating on the wheel rim.

Sandblasting Removal

  1. Get a small, portable sandblasting machine if you do not already have one. Sandblasting machines can be rented at your local equipment rental store.
  2. Purchase blasting material. A number of different materials are used to de-chrome wheel rims through sandblasting, including sand. However, aluminum rims may require blasting with glass beads, since they cause less damage to the underlying surface below the plating.
  3. Sandblast the wheels using the sandblaster and air compressor. Connect the sandblaster to the compressor, start the compressor and fill the sandblaster’s hopper with blasting material. When the compressor pressure gauge reads sufficient pressure, begin sandblasting the rim. Many smaller sandblasting units require only 80 pounds per square inch (psi) to 150 psi of air pressure.
  4. Don proper safety equipment, including safety glasses and breathing mask before sandblasting. Point the sandblaster gun at the rim and blast until the plating is completely removed. Repeat this process to de-chrome other rims.

An MSP Trick To Fund Your Small Business With Cloud Services

All small businesses may have cash flow shortage at this or that point throughout their lifespan. This is a common problem for many MSPs. A business may often begin to grow rapidly while having payment terms with their customers that are more favorable than those with their suppliers.

Popular Ways to Fund Your Small Business

According to FinPacific Treasury Systems, 70% of businesses that go bankrupt are profitable when they stop operating. Business owners can choose a number of ways to raise cash. These include:

  • Access to venture capital
  • Applying for a small business loan
  • Funding traditional debt
  • Floating a cash balance on a credit card
  • Soliciting private equity

Small business funding such as a Merchant Cash Advance is on the rise. Merchants interested in small business financing should consider applying to a reputable payment processing company like First American Merchant. With FirstAmericanMerchant.com, you can enjoy the lowest possible rates and the best business funding options, including First American Merchant Cash Advance, in the industry. FAM offers multiple gateways and unmatched protection from fraud.

Small Business Funding VS Merchant Cash Advance Offered by FAM

First American Merchant, a reliable processor specializing in the high risk sector, offers small business funding opportunities and a unique Merchant Cash Advance to businesses of any type and size. Bad credit is not a problem for FAM.

Small Business funding

  • Complicated Contracts
  • Extensive Documentation
  • Strict Credit Requirements
  • Lower Approval Rates
  • Long Wait Times for Funding

VS

Merchant Cash Advance

  • Credit Scores Below 500 Approved
  • Fast Application Process
  • No tax returns or financials required
  • Receive your Funds within 72 Hours
  • Simple, flexible programs

Growing Your Business with Cloud Services

Cloud service provider models enable MSPs to pay their bills at the end of the service term instead of paying at the beginning. Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) model is among many other MSP services. The WaaS can charge for its service in advance, which guarantees that the MSP is receiving payments made by customers 30 days in advance of having to pay for the services.

Regardless of the number of new subscribers, you can pay the service provider after receiving payments from your customer. If you can manage to charge your payment to the service provider, you will get, on average, extra 15 days in which you can cover your credit card payment with cash.

According to some viewpoints, this is a “negative working capital.” Investopedia defines working capital as “Current Assets – Current Liabilities.” Current assets are defined as balance sheet accounts representing the value of all assets that can reasonably be converted into cash within a one-year period. Current liabilities have the same definition.

The most important thing is to compare all your options and make the best and the right choice for your company.

Tips on Identity Theft Protection

Of the many online crimes in existence today, identify theft is among the crimes that are here to stay, and cannot easily be wished away. Taking the time to learn about identity theft as well as comparing identity theft protection plans in the market will be the best line of defense, for you and your family. You need to remember that your entire life, identity, savings and credit score are at stake.

Going into denial, and acting as though everything is normal will pose a real problem for you down the line when you become a victim. Help yourself by learning more about identity theft, and how to protect yourself from the various forms of identity theft as the information is readily available online.

Identity Theft Statistics

Identity theft is slowly emerging as being the most dominant white collar crime in the twenty-first century. A person is robbed of their identity after every three seconds that elapses. The Federal Trade Commission reports that identity theft has been the largest consumer complaint for the seventh straight year.

As the number of identity theft victims increases, so does the amount of money lost through this type of crime. Many victims do not know that their identity has been stolen, until much later on when they start to receive calls, emails and letters from collection agencies informing them that they owe a lot of money, in unpaid bills.

Attempting to fix your identity becomes a nightmare, though it appears as a straightforward exercise, it is not the case. Reports suggest that a victim spends between three hundred and six hundred hours trying to prove that he or she is not a thief. Sadly, all creditors will consider you guilty, unless you can demonstrate otherwise.

How Can You Protect Your Identity?

For identity protection, there are a few quick and easy things that you can do. They include;

  • Regularly check your credit reports from all the three agencies
  • Ensure you place a fraud alert on your credit report
  • Make use of your home and office shredder
  • Do not subscribe to unsolicited credit card offers

The best solution is for you to hire a professional to protect your identity. The professional will take you through the numerous identity theft protection plans available, and help you choose the one that works for you. The best plan will provide you with a full-service guarantee if your identity gets stolen by a fraudster. Whichever method you choose, you need to be proactive in ensuring that you protect your personal information, as well as your identity.

Billboard Advertising- An Excellent Way to Expose Your Product or Service

You must have noticed several interesting billboards when you drive down the highways. It seems to be hanging on the air when you are driving by its side. The billboards are kept just in the right heights so that they become visible from a distance. Billboards are presently massively used for the advertising purpose as people can advertise anything from any particular product, food item, restaurants, hotels, shopping, services and even political messages. Since billboards are commonly viewed by more people rather than the views of local business magazines, billboard advertising has proven to be effective way to communicate with people.

Based on the location of the billboards, the viewers of the advertisement increase. Moreover, the cost of billboard ads is not so high, compared to other forms of advertisements. If you pay a certain amount of money for exposing your ads through billboards, you will get the certainty that the ads must be viewed a large number of people while passing the roads. When an advertisement is broadcasted through the television, it may be viewed by a person for a few seconds. But when the advertisement is published through a billboard in a prime location, it can be viewed several times by the same person.

Explore Numerous Benefits of Billboard Advertising-

When you are publishing your ads through the billboard, be it your shop, product or service’s advertisement, you will achieve wide range of advantages. Firstly, billboard ads multiply the chances of viewing the ads. Unlike the average television commercials that people view for average few seconds at a time people notice the billboard ads for many times whenever they pass through the road. Secondly, billboard advertisement is considered as one time investment for one ad that is watched by several times by the same person. Therefore, you will get more bangs for the bucks you are going to invest for the advertisement. Thirdly, apart from the regular targeted audience, billboard ads can reach wide range of people including men, women, the young, the elderly and children. Only you need to apply your brain to make the ad in such a way that would attract all types of demographics. For example, you are presenting a catchy advertisement about your shopping portal through the billboard placed on a prime location beside the highway. Now when people are passing through the advertisement a number of times within a day, some of them may think about visiting the shopping portal and thus your business reaches to an extensive array of potential customers.

Through the billboard ads, the advertiser can deliver any specific message regular and consistent basis. However, it is always essential to research about the location before putting up your ad so that you can be assured that your billboard advertisement receives a good amount of traffic on the regular basis. Since chances are there that the same person will see your ad for a number of times in a single day, you need to make the ad catchy enough that it attracts his or her attention every time he/she passes through the road.

 

The Shots You Want Before and During Your Wedding Ceremony

One of the most important days in the life of a couple is their wedding day. Because of tight timelines and the excitement which most brides and grooms experience, however, they are often not able to pause and truly appreciate their big day until they receive their proofs back from their wedding photographer.

When properly selected, your wedding photographer will already have a number of fantastic ideas for shots and locations before and during your wedding ceremony. But brides and grooms should also have a lot of input as to what shots they feel will best showcase their special day. To make sure that you get the most out of your wedding photography in Sydney, we have put together a list of the five types of shots to have taken before and up to the moment when you and your love say, “I do.”

The Pre-Ceremony Photos

One mistake which a lot of brides and grooms make is that they choose to save a bit of money and forego the pre-ceremony photos. These images are amongst the most precious, since they give everyone a behind-the-scenes, play-by-play of what happened before you said your vows. These images share a quiet tenderness and reveal the anticipation felt by the bride, the groom, and the wedding party. Make sure your set of wedding photos include:

  • Photographs of “The Details:” You have spent a lot of money on your invitations, rings, bouquets, shoes, and wedding dress. Capture each and every element of your wedding prep by having a photographer take gorgeous photos of these details.
  • Bride and Groom Preparation: Some of the most cherished moments happen before the wedding ceremony begins. Candid shots of the groom with his groomsmen are always great images. Brides usually have an even larger set of wedding preparation photos taken. These photographs may include images of the bride’s hairdo and makeup being done, the bridesmaids getting ready, touching images of the bride with her mother, and the placement of the veil.

The Ceremony Photos

The ceremony is the main event, and you will want the photographs being taken to reflect that. These images should show the important moments throughout the ceremony while also revealing the location and the size of the wedding.

  • The Bride and Bridal Party Entrance: This is the time when the cameras will never stop taking shots. A professional wedding photographer will snap gorgeous photos starting with the flower girl’s entrance right through to when the bride and her father make their grand entrance and stride arm in arm down the aisle. Ask your photographer to also take a few photographs of the groom’s reaction when he first sees his bride, since these shots will be amongst the most treasured pictures you receive of your wedding day.
  • The Ring and Vow Exchange: The one moment that couples want to relive again and again is the moment when they said their vows and placed the rings on each other’s fingers. These images should include distant shots as well as close-up shots of both the bride and groom, and the photos should capture the array of emotions being felt by them as well as guests at the wedding, such as parents and siblings.
  • The Kiss: An obvious shot that should never be missed is the kiss. As a final tip, the bride and groom should plan to kiss for a minimum of five seconds. This gives your photographer time to set up and take the best and most focused shot possible.

 

How to Prepare a Surface for Chrome Plating

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Beautiful, shiny chrome looks great on a car. Any metallic items that shine are often described as chrome, but those that are legitimately chrome plated have undergone an electroplating process. When compared to another item that has simply been buffed, there is a noticeable difference. This type of quality does not come easily, and there is a lot of preparation that must be done to the item before it can be chrome plated.

Instructions

  1. Clean the item by hand thoroughly with soap and water, removing all surface dirt, dust and debris.
  2. Take proper safety precautions by wearing goggles, long sleeve shirt, and gloves. Then prepare a bath of caustic soda. This can be drain cleaner or a degreasing agent. Submerse the item in the caustic soda bath and proceed to clean it. The item must be cleaned down to the bare metal, so this may take a while in the soda bath. Remove the item from the soda bath carefully to avoid splashes or spills, and rinse it with water while holding it above the bath (you may need some help). The item is rinsed in this way so that all of the solution and rinse water is kept within the bath. Then dispose of the bath solution according to your local hazardous material or chemical disposal laws.
  3. Buff the item and remove all scratches and any other surface mars. Begin with a coarse buffing wheel and proceed through a series of wheel surfaces to a fine surface wheel.
  4. Clean the part thoroughly once again with soap and water to remove any traces of the dust left over from the buffing you have just done. Your item is now ready for chrome plating.

How to Remove Chrome Plating From Plastic

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Model building is serious endeavor for many hobbyists and avid modelers are frequently adverse to chrome plating on model parts because it looks unrealistic and cannot be glued to other parts with traditional modeler’s plastic cement. Sanding away the plating is time consuming and will leave the plastic underneath scratched. Use household bleach to remove chrome plating easily and without harming the plastic underneath.

Instructions

  1. Place the chrome plated part in a plastic container. Use a large enough container that the part can sit flat at the bottom. This will minimize how much bleach has to be used.
  2. Pour bleach into the container. Fill just enough to cover the part.
  3. Allow the part to sit in the bleach for several minutes, while keeping your eye on the progress. You will see the chrome disintegrating. Precisely how long the bleach wil take to remove chrome depends on the thickness of the plating.
  4. Put on latex gloves and remove the part from the bleach when you see that the chrome plating is gone.
  5. Rinse the part thoroughly with fresh water. At this point, the part will still be coated in chrome plating primer.
  6. Remove the chrome primer by submerging the part in liquid model paint stripper. Submerge the part in stripper in the same manner as you submerged the part in bleach.
  7. Allow the part to soak in the stripper for the amount of time indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions. You may have to let it soak for as long as two days.
  8. Put on latex gloves and remove the part from the stripper.
  9. Rinse the part thoroughly with fresh water and use an old toothbrush to remove any residual flecks of stuck on paint.

How is Plastic Chrome Plated?

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Traditionally, plastic is plated with chrome in an electrolytic process after being pre-treated in an electroless process. In another process, vacuum metalizing, plating is achieved when metal bonds with plastic in a vacuum chamber.

Electroless Process

  • This first step of the chrome plating process coats plastic with electroless nickel by using a chemical solution to make the plastic conductive for the electrolytic process. The electroless process is completed in several steps in the following order: clean, etch, neutralize, apply a catalyst, apply an accelerator and add electroless nickel.

Electrolytic Process

  • After the plastic has been pre-plated using the electroless process, it is placed in a solution and subjected to an electric current to add the chrome layer. This is also a lengthy process that proceeds in the following order: sulfuric acid etching, semi-bright nickel application, a sulfuric acid bath, bright acid copper application, bright nickel application and finally, ending in the application of the chrome layer.

Vaccum Metalizing

  • Vacuum metalizing is a lower cost alternative for plating plastic. This method is physical rather than chemical and therefor eliminates the need to use toxic chemicals in the process. During this process, the plastic part bonds with metal when placed in a special vacuum chamber, coating the plastic.

How to Tell the Difference Between Nickel Plating & Chrome Plating on Firearms

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Firearms that are cast out of steel can become corroded when exposed to the elements. Since the late 1800s, plating has been the favorable way to seal the metal and preserve both the decorative and working parts of the firearm. Because steel is porous, finer, softer metals such as nickel and chromium (or “chrome”) are used to create a protective, lusterous finish. Based on the age of the firearm and the color of the finish, the difference between nickel and chrome plating can be determined.

Instructions

  1. Ensure that the firearm is unloaded. Carefully check the firearm to make sure that no ammunition is loaded in the chamber. Remove the magazine if there is one.
  2. Determine the age of the firearm. If you don’t know the year the firearm was manufactured, you can take it to an appraiser or to an antique firearm dealer. By looking at the serial number, he can tell you when it was made.
  3. Determine the finish of the firearm based on age. Nickel plating was introduced in the 1870s and remained the primary way to plate guns through the early 20th century. Chrome plating wasn’t invented until the 1920s and and wasn’t readily available until after World War II ended in 1945. Therefore, if your weapon was manufactured before the 1920s, it is most likely nickel-plated.
  4. Determine the finish of the firearm based on color. Nickel-plated guns have a faint yellow tint to them. Chrome-plated firearms have a bright bluish color.
  5. Determine the finish of the firearm based on luster. Place the firearm on a table and hold a ruler perpendicular with the table so that the numbers are reflected in the metal. If you can make out two or more numbers, the gun is most likely plated in chrome. Firearms with a duller finish that don’t reflect much are most likely nickel.
  6. Have a professional determine the finish. If you still are unsure, a firearms specialist can determine the finish for you.

How to Remove Fine Scratches From Chrome Plating

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Chrome plating refers to a thin layer of chromium that has been electroplated onto the surface of a metal object. Chrome provides corrosive resistance and may be used decoratively on appliances or automobiles. During the life of a chrome-plated surface, it may become scratched. You can remove light scratches from the surface of chrome plating with a special chrome polish/protectant you can find at many auto and hardware stores.

Instructions

  1. Ensure your chrome-plated surface is at room temperature and not in direct sunlight. If the surface is on a car, move the car into a covered area. Put on the rubber gloves.
  2. Coat the scratched surface and super-fine #0000-grade steel wool in the chrome polish. Do not allow any dry portions of the steel wool to come in contact with the chrome plating, as this will result in a dulled finish.
  3. Swirl the steel wool over the scratched surface in small circles. Scratches may take several minutes of buffing to be worked out of the plating. Apply more chrome polish/protectant liberally and often.
  4. Wipe the surface with a microfiber towel to clean off the polish/protectant and evaluate the area. Repeat application of the chrome polish/protectant, buffing and wiping with the microfiber towel until the scratches disappear.
  5. Follow any directions on the back of the chrome polish/protectant bottle to shine your chrome plating to a clear, glossy finish.

How to Polish Chrome Plating

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Nothing shines like chrome plating when it is well polished. If your chrome has become dull, has water spots or other signs of tarnish, it’s easy to bring it back to life. Once cleaned, a good polish will restore it to its former glory. Use a high-quality polish specifically for use on chrome. Before you apply it to the entire piece, test it on an inconspicuous spot on the chrome plating to make sure it does not scratch or abrade the surface.

Instructions

  1. Wash the chrome with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth (an old cotton t-shirt works best). Be sure to do a thorough job. Any small granules or debris left behind on the chrome can scratch and abrade the surface while you are polishing it.
  2. Dry the chrome with a dry soft cloth.
  3. Apply the chrome polish to a soft polishing pad. A dab the size of a quarter will do. You’ll want to polish the chrome one small section at a time.
  4. Rub the polish into the chrome with long strokes. It takes a little elbow grease to apply a thin coating. But keep pushing and rubbing until you have an even film over the surface of a small section of the chrome. Once the polish is used up, add another quarter-sized daub to the polishing pad and move on to another section.
  5. Wipe the film of polish away with a clean, soft cotton cloth.

Do it Yourself Chrome Plating

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The chrome plating found on car trim and kitchen appliances can also be made at home. Using electrolysis, it’s possible to bind chromium onto metals such as steel, brass, copper, aluminum and stainless steel, creating the shiny finish. In addition to creating a polished layer, the element also stops the metals from tarnishing. Remember, though, the process requires very strong chemicals, so caution should be taken before starting the process. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves as well as a dust mask.

Step 1

Thoroughly clean the material to be chromed. This includes degreasing (with a solution such as alkaline cleaner) and removing any paint, rust and dirt. Don’t forget that the grease from your hands can cause problems, so wear gloves during the cleaning process. The more thoroughly prepared the surface, the better the finished coating. A grinder or buffer may be helpful for the process. If there are any nicks or dents, smooth them out.

Step 2

Douse the metal in a dry acid pickle, which is necessary to prepare the metal for plating and also keep an oxide layer from forming. The pickling time will vary depending on the metal being plated. Be sure to follow the pickle manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 3

To make a chromium plating solution, you’ll need a combination of chromic acid, sulfuric acid and distilled water. Combine the chromic acid with sulfuric acid fluid in a 100 to 1 ratio. Then, add this solution to the distilled water. The amount of each of these ingredients varies according to the size of the piece you’ll be plating and the type of surface material. These ingredients are also available in chrome plating kits, which may also include the necessary tools. The chemicals in the chromium plating solution are carcinogenic as well as flammable, so they should be handled carefully.

Step 4

The immersion tank for the process should have enough room to fit any surface to be plated. For decorative chrome, the solution should be heated between 95 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. For hard chrome, the solution needs to be a little hotter, between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Dissolve the plating material in the solution.

Step 6

Run a positive charge from the variable current controller through the plating solution.

Step 7

Attach a negative anode to the metal piece to be chromed. As a result, positively charged pieces of chromium will be attracted to it. The longer the metal is submerged in the tank, the thicker the resulting chrome plating will be.

Step 8

After the chrome plating is complete, remove the object from the tank and rinse at least twice in running water.

How to Start a Chroming Business

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You can make a good living from restoring the chrome on cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles. But it is an expensive business to start because of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laws and rules.The EPA regulates the purchase and disposal of toxic chrome chemicals. The equipment and the supplies and building all have to meet EPA standards. The start-up costs can range from $100,000 to $200,000. The EPA will require you to properly dispose of the chemicals, which can cost up to $60,000 per year.

Instructions

  1. Do you already know the business? If you don’t, you may want to volunteer for a chroming firm in your area to learn the ropes. Sign up to receive technical journals and read books on the subject. Try to attend classes in chrome plating if you can. Join the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF) to gain access to materials and supply information to help you get your chroming business started. Get to know and network with NASF members to learn more about what the chroming business entails.
  2. Take care of all the necessary paperwork with the EPA and your local governments. Buy business insurance. Visit your local municipal building and apply for a license or a permit to operate your chroming business. Log on to GovSpot.com and apply for your state’s Department of Revenue tax ID number. Call (800) 429-4833 and apply for your federal tax ID number.
  3. Select the location where you want to open your chroming business. Invite the EPA to the site to approve the location and the building. Prepare to set up shop by reviewing the local, state, and federal laws on operating and starting a chrome business. Purchase, rent or lease the building after you have met all the qualifications for opening the shop. Locate your shop wherever you want as long as it can be approved by local, state, and federal governments. The facility should be designed for chemistry, plating and the polishing of chrome materials. Make sure the floors are coated with high quality chemical resistant material to prevent concrete damage.
  4. Buy a power supply that would put out at least 2000 amps, which is what it takes to chrome plate one car bumper. Obtain at least six tanks that are at least 7 feet long and 18 inches wide and deep–large enough to accomodate a car bumper. You’ll also need a fume extraction system that is approved by the EPA. Hire a qualified chemist to make sure that you are properly balancing the chemicals. Dispose of the chemicals by hiring an outside company that specializes in hazardous waste.
  5. You can run the business by yourself but it is very time consuming and at least one assistant would make it more manageable. Hire the services of a chemist who knows how to balance chrome chemicals. How much you make will depend on the size of your operation. You will be charging by the job, at about $1,000 for a day’s work. The business could generate more than $300,000 a year.

How to Polish Chrome Plating

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Nothing shines like chrome plating when it is well polished. If your chrome has become dull, has water spots or other signs of tarnish, it’s easy to bring it back to life. Once cleaned, a good polish will restore it to its former glory. Use a high-quality polish specifically for use on chrome. Before you apply it to the entire piece, test it on an inconspicuous spot on the chrome plating to make sure it does not scratch or abrade the surface.

Instructions

  1. Wash the chrome with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth (an old cotton t-shirt works best). Be sure to do a thorough job. Any small granules or debris left behind on the chrome can scratch and abrade the surface while you are polishing it.
  2. Dry the chrome with a dry soft cloth.
  3. Apply the chrome polish to a soft polishing pad. A dab the size of a quarter will do. You’ll want to polish the chrome one small section at a time.
  4. Rub the polish into the chrome with long strokes. It takes a little elbow grease to apply a thin coating. But keep pushing and rubbing until you have an even film over the surface of a small section of the chrome. Once the polish is used up, add another quarter-sized daub to the polishing pad and move on to another section.
  5. Wipe the film of polish away with a clean, soft cotton cloth.

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Beautiful, shiny chrome looks great on a car. Any metallic items that shine are often described as chrome, but those that are legitimately chrome plated have undergone an electroplating process. When compared to another item that has simply been buffed, there is a noticeable difference. This type of quality does not come easily, and there is a lot of preparation that must be done to the item before it can be chrome plated.

Instructions

  1. Clean the item by hand thoroughly with soap and water, removing all surface dirt, dust and debris.
  2. Take proper safety precautions by wearing goggles, long sleeve shirt, and gloves. Then prepare a bath of caustic soda. This can be drain cleaner or a degreasing agent. Submerse the item in the caustic soda bath and proceed to clean it. The item must be cleaned down to the bare metal, so this may take a while in the soda bath. Remove the item from the soda bath carefully to avoid splashes or spills, and rinse it with water while holding it above the bath (you may need some help). The item is rinsed in this way so that all of the solution and rinse water is kept within the bath. Then dispose of the bath solution according to your local hazardous material or chemical disposal laws.
  3. Buff the item and remove all scratches and any other surface mars. Begin with a coarse buffing wheel and proceed through a series of wheel surfaces to a fine surface wheel.
  4. Clean the part thoroughly once again with soap and water to remove any traces of the dust left over from the buffing you have just done. Your item is now ready for chrome plating.

How to Find a Chrome Plating Company in Maryland

Chrome is a naturally occurring metal that is used to plate objects requiring a shiny lustrous finish. Plating can be found on vintage car bumpers and rims, bicycle wheels, lighting fixtures and other assorted goods. Chrome plating businesses specialize in re-chroming an object once its old plating has been removed, usually because of excessive pitting, chipping or scratching. Because chroming an object is a very difficult specialized task, professional service is recommended. If you live in the state of Maryland, locating a trusted chrome plating company is simple.

Instructions

  1. Visit a local auto body shop. Much of a chrome plating company’s business comes in the form of referrals from auto repair shop staff. Customers who bring in vintage vehicles for repair often ask about chrome refurbishment, and are often relayed to local chrome plating companies.
  2. Consult with a local bike shop. Bicycle shops are a great resource for finding a chrome plating company for the same reason as auto body shops. As bike shop staff help customers with vintage bike overhaul, which often includes refurbishing many chrome-plated parts, they will often be happy to provide you with local resources.
  3. Talk to chrome hobbyists. Whether it be your friend who works on classic hot rods or your neighbor who restores antique lighting fixtures, chances are they have had something professionally chromed before. If you like the look of their re-chromed pieces, ask them for information regarding the company they patronized.
  4. Perform an online search. The Internet will return many local results for a search of “Maryland chome plating.” For some listings you may be able to read customer reviews, see photos of their chrome work or even apply for an online estimate.

How to Clean Yellowed Chrome

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Chrome plating sometimes turns yellow and loses its luster. Proper cleaning can remove the discoloration and mostly or completely return the chrome to its original shine. A chrome finish turns yellow because the plating was done poorly or because of the use of an abrasive chrome polish, which rubs off easily and exposes the raw metal, such as nickel, underneath.

Instructions

  1. Blend a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and dishwasher detergent. For bathroom fixtures, use about 6 fluid ounces of detergent and 6 tablespoons of baking soda.
  2. Apply the mixture to the polishing cloth and polish the chrome surface. Polish in circular motions where possible to avoid scratching the surface.
  3. Remove any residual cleaning solution after the initial polishing, using a clean cloth.
  4. Apply the polishing solution directly to the chrome surface if discoloration is hard to remove. Use steel wool to remove stubborn yellow stains, pressing down lightly on the surface but not hard enough to scratch it.

How to Re-Chrome Car Rims

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Chrome wheel rims are a great way to add character to your vehicle. Through normal wear and tear, though, chrome rims will become scratched, and possibly even chipped, from small rocks from the road. Repairing scratches and gashes yourself on your chrome rims is a simple procedure that will save you money, and takes no longer than an hour to accomplish in your driveway.

Instructions

  1. Clean the dirt and debris off the chrome rims with a coarse rag.
  2. Pour rubbing alcohol onto a soft cloth, and rub it over the chrome rims. If a large amount of rust is present and will not come off, leave it.
  3. Apply hard epoxy to any deep scratches and gashes. Let the hard epoxy dry, and smooth it out with a buffing cloth
  4. Touch up the scratches. Apply chrome rim paint with a small, soft bristle paint brush over the scratches and gashes filled with epoxy, as well as any other scratched areas that were not deep enough to fill with hard epoxy. Wait for the chrome rim paint to dry

How to Make a Chromic Acid Plating Solution

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Chromic acid plating solution is used in the electroplating of metals for making surfaces decorative and corrosion resistant. There are several recipes for making the plating solution. The ingredients of the most common electroplating bath include chromium trioxide and sulfuric acid. The ratios of these chemicals in the recipe vary depending on the objective of the plating. There are “hard plating” and “decorative plating” recipes that have different ratios of chromic acid to sulfate. Some bath solutions include flouride catalysts which increase the rate of chromium deposition.

Instructions

  1. Fill the bath container to the halfway mark with distilled or deionized water and calculate the amount of chromium trioxide and sulfuric acid to be added to the solution. For decorative plating, add 300 grams per liter of chromium trioxide and 3 grams per liter of sulfate. For 50 percent sulfuric acid, you will need to 61 milliliters per liter of bath solution to achieve this sulfate concentration.
  2. Weigh the the amount of chromium oxide needed and add it to the water in the electroplating tank. Measure the amount of 50 percent sulfuric acid that is needed and add it slowly to the tank. Gently stir the bath tank solution to assure that all of the chromium oxide crystals dissolve into the solution.
  3. Transfer by pipet 2.5 milliliters of the electroplating solution to a 100 ml graduated cylinder that has 97.5 ml of deionized water to make a dilution. This dilution is necessary because the testing range of the testing kit for sulfate, given in the references below, is 50-200 milligrams per liter.
  4. Mix the solution in the graduated cylinder with a plastic or glass rod. Filter the solution before testing if there is sediment or suspended particles. Then perform the sulfate test according to the instructions of the test kit.
  5. Multiply the results of the test kit by 40 to arrive at the grams per liter of sulfate in the electroplating solution. Adjust the concentration if needed.

The Differences Between Brushed Chrome & Brushed Nickel

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Home metal fixtures, such as faucets and shower heads, come in different finishes such as stain or brushed nickel or chrome. These features describe how the metal has been finished to provide the piece with a particular finish, shine and texture. In the case of brushed nickel and brushed chrome the difference has less to do with texture or durability than with the tint of the metal fixture itself.

Chrome

  • Chrome itself is commonly plated onto another metal such as copper or nickel to provide a little extra hardness and resistance as well as a shiny finish to the item. While chrome is primarily used for industrial purposes, the luster of chrome makes it a favorite for not only home fixtures but also for motorcycle engines and other automotive parts. Often a thin layer of chrome is applied over a thin layer of nickel, as both have high resistance to corrosion.

Nickel

  • Nickel’s high resistance to corrosion makes it ideal for mixing with other metals such as iron and brass. The majority of nickel manufactured in the world goes into making stainless steel while the second-highest percentage of the world’s nickel — roughly 12 percent of all nickel produced — goes into superalloys for use in a variety of mechanical devices such as turbine engines. Nickel’s natural resistance to corrosion makes it a prime metal for use in home fixtures, as it is unlikely to rust or deteriorate from use.

Brushed Metal

  • Brushed metal, be it nickel or chrome, refers to the method by which the metal has been finished. The term “brushed” refers to the appearance that a wire brush was used across the item, giving it directional abrasion lines after polishing. While “satin” or “velvety” metals include a smooth finish with no visible abrasions, brushed metals are meant to have a more handcrafted appearance that allows more interplay of light and shadow because of the rises within the surface.

Primary differences

  • While brushed nickel and brushed chrome share many of the same properties, including an textured finished, the major difference between the two is in the tinting of the metal itself. Chrome plating gives metal a slight blue shine. Often this tinge is seen as giving a sophisticated and cool look to the finished piece. Nickel, on the other hand, has a natural yellow (or whitish) appearance. This slight yellow hue is often seen as a warmer color than chrome’s blue.

Varieties

  • Brushed nickel fixtures often come with a wider variety of finishes than brushed chrome. Chrome fixtures tend to have the same level of blue tint in every piece, while nickel ones appear more or less yellow depending on the amount of plating and density of the nickel used. This means that fixtures from different manufactures may take on a difference appearance from each other despite being coated with brushed nickel.

Selection

  • Often selection between brushed nickel and brushed chrome comes down to price and appearance. Each metal is essentially just as durable and noncorrosive as the other; however, chrome is generally more expensive and offers a cooler appearance than nickel. In selecting between the two, consider the color of the surroundings; warmer colors, such as tan or earth tones, would look better with brushed nickel fixtures, while cooler colors, such as gray, blue or even white, may benefit from the bluish hue of chrome fixtures. Similarly, because nickel has been historically used for metal finishing, it gives a more traditional, homey and antique look. On the other hand, chrome is a relatively modern addition and offers a more sophisticated, steely and modern look, following its rise in popularity for engines and other such decorative elements.

How to Start a Chroming Business

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You can make a good living from restoring the chrome on cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles. But it is an expensive business to start because of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laws and rules.The EPA regulates the purchase and disposal of toxic chrome chemicals. The equipment and the supplies and building all have to meet EPA standards. The start-up costs can range from $100,000 to $200,000. The EPA will require you to properly dispose of the chemicals, which can cost up to $60,000 per year.

Instructions

  1. Do you already know the business? If you don’t, you may want to volunteer for a chroming firm in your area to learn the ropes. Sign up to receive technical journals and read books on the subject. Try to attend classes in chrome plating if you can. Join the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF) to gain access to materials and supply information to help you get your chroming business started. Get to know and network with NASF members to learn more about what the chroming business entails.
  2. Take care of all the necessary paperwork with the EPA and your local governments. Buy business insurance. Visit your local municipal building and apply for a license or a permit to operate your chroming business. Log on to GovSpot.com and apply for your state’s Department of Revenue tax ID number. Call (800) 429-4833 and apply for your federal tax ID number.
  3. Select the location where you want to open your chroming business. Invite the EPA to the site to approve the location and the building. Prepare to set up shop by reviewing the local, state, and federal laws on operating and starting a chrome business. Purchase, rent or lease the building after you have met all the qualifications for opening the shop. Locate your shop wherever you want as long as it can be approved by local, state, and federal governments. The facility should be designed for chemistry, plating and the polishing of chrome materials. Make sure the floors are coated with high quality chemical resistant material to prevent concrete damage.
  4. Buy a power supply that would put out at least 2000 amps, which is what it takes to chrome plate one car bumper. Obtain at least six tanks that are at least 7 feet long and 18 inches wide and deep–large enough to accomodate a car bumper. You’ll also need a fume extraction system that is approved by the EPA. Hire a qualified chemist to make sure that you are properly balancing the chemicals. Dispose of the chemicals by hiring an outside company that specializes in hazardous waste.
  5. You can run the business by yourself but it is very time consuming and at least one assistant would make it more manageable. Hire the services of a chemist who knows how to balance chrome chemicals. How much you make will depend on the size of your operation. You will be charging by the job, at about $1,000 for a day’s work. The business could generate more than $300,000 a year.

How to Tell the Difference Between Nickel Plating & Chrome Plating on Firearms

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Firearms that are cast out of steel can become corroded when exposed to the elements. Since the late 1800s, plating has been the favorable way to seal the metal and preserve both the decorative and working parts of the firearm. Because steel is porous, finer, softer metals such as nickel and chromium (or “chrome”) are used to create a protective, lusterous finish. Based on the age of the firearm and the color of the finish, the difference between nickel and chrome plating can be determined.

Instructions

  1. Ensure that the firearm is unloaded. Carefully check the firearm to make sure that no ammunition is loaded in the chamber. Remove the magazine if there is one.
  2. Determine the age of the firearm. If you don’t know the year the firearm was manufactured, you can take it to an appraiser or to an antique firearm dealer. By looking at the serial number, he can tell you when it was made.
  3. Determine the finish of the firearm based on age. Nickel plating was introduced in the 1870s and remained the primary way to plate guns through the early 20th century. Chrome plating wasn’t invented until the 1920s and and wasn’t readily available until after World War II ended in 1945. Therefore, if your weapon was manufactured before the 1920s, it is most likely nickel-plated.
  4. Determine the finish of the firearm based on color. Nickel-plated guns have a faint yellow tint to them. Chrome-plated firearms have a bright bluish color.
  5. Determine the finish of the firearm based on luster. Place the firearm on a table and hold a ruler perpendicular with the table so that the numbers are reflected in the metal. If you can make out two or more numbers, the gun is most likely plated in chrome. Firearms with a duller finish that don’t reflect much are most likely nickel.
  6. Have a professional determine the finish. If you still are unsure, a firearms specialist can determine the finish for you.

Can You Sand Off Chrome?

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Chrome is a hard, decorative finish that is used for a wide range of applications, from household accessories to car parts such as wheels and the bumpers on classic cars. Over time, chrome finishes can become pitted and damaged, particularly if the chrome is not cared for adequately. It may become desirable at some point to remove the chrome finish on a particular object so that it can be repainted or refinished for an improved look.

Chrome Plating

  • Though chrome is a hard, shiny surface, it is actually a very thin coating that is applied on top of a metal surface. There are a few ways to remove a chrome finish. Some industrial companies specialize in chemically stripping chrome from wheels and other items. Chrome finishes can also be removed by sanding the chrome off, either with a high speed sanding machine or by hand with sandpaper. Removing chrome by hand sanding it off is the best way to avoid damaging the surface that the chrome covers.

Tools Needed

  • In order to remove a chrome finish, you will need 220-grit, 320-grit and 1,200-grit sandpaper. You will also need some type of abrasive chrome polish, rags and steel wool. Chrome dust can be harmful if inhaled, so it is important to wear lung protection in the form of a face mask. It is also recommended that you have eye and hand protection available during the process of sanding off chrome.

Removing Chrome

  • To remove the chrome, first place a generous amount of the polish on the rag. Wipe the polish onto the entire surface of the chrome. Sand the chrome with the 220-grit sandpaper. The rough sandpaper should remove the majority of the chrome. Move up to the 300-grit sandpaper and then the 1,200-grit sandpaper, applying more polish as you continue sanding. Sand the surface until all of the chrome is stripped off. Polish the part with the steel wool to eliminate any fine scratches. Wipe the part down with a clean, dry rag. Go back and sand off any remaining chrome.

Considerations

  • Chroming is an involved, somewhat expensive procedure. Before removing chrome plating from something, be sure that you won’t regret stripping it. In order to get the same look that the part had with the chrome, it will have to be sent to a plater to be rechromed. Once the chrome is stripped, prime or paint the object so that the surface does not become rusted or pitted.

How to Remove Fine Scratches From Chrome Plating

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Chrome plating refers to a thin layer of chromium that has been electroplated onto the surface of a metal object. Chrome provides corrosive resistance and may be used decoratively on appliances or automobiles. During the life of a chrome-plated surface, it may become scratched. You can remove light scratches from the surface of chrome plating with a special chrome polish/protectant you can find at many auto and hardware stores.

Instructions

  1. Ensure your chrome-plated surface is at room temperature and not in direct sunlight. If the surface is on a car, move the car into a covered area. Put on the rubber gloves.
  2. Coat the scratched surface and super-fine #0000-grade steel wool in the chrome polish. Do not allow any dry portions of the steel wool to come in contact with the chrome plating, as this will result in a dulled finish.
  3. Swirl the steel wool over the scratched surface in small circles. Scratches may take several minutes of buffing to be worked out of the plating. Apply more chrome polish/protectant liberally and often.
  4. Wipe the surface with a microfiber towel to clean off the polish/protectant and evaluate the area. Repeat application of the chrome polish/protectant, buffing and wiping with the microfiber towel until the scratches disappear.
  5. Follow any directions on the back of the chrome polish/protectant bottle to shine your chrome plating to a clear, glossy finish.

How to Polish Chrome Plating

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Nothing shines like chrome plating when it is well polished. If your chrome has become dull, has water spots or other signs of tarnish, it’s easy to bring it back to life. Once cleaned, a good polish will restore it to its former glory. Use a high-quality polish specifically for use on chrome. Before you apply it to the entire piece, test it on an inconspicuous spot on the chrome plating to make sure it does not scratch or abrade the surface.

Instructions

  1. Wash the chrome with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth (an old cotton t-shirt works best). Be sure to do a thorough job. Any small granules or debris left behind on the chrome can scratch and abrade the surface while you are polishing it.
  2. Dry the chrome with a dry soft cloth.
  3. Apply the chrome polish to a soft polishing pad. A dab the size of a quarter will do. You’ll want to polish the chrome one small section at a time.
  4. Rub the polish into the chrome with long strokes. It takes a little elbow grease to apply a thin coating. But keep pushing and rubbing until you have an even film over the surface of a small section of the chrome. Once the polish is used up, add another quarter-sized daub to the polishing pad and move on to another section.
  5. Wipe the film of polish away with a clean, soft cotton cloth.

What Kind of Drill Bit is Needed for a Chrome Plate?

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Chrome plating can be very hard material. Chrome itself is one of the hardest metals available; a very strong drill bit is required to dig through chrome plating. The market offers several different styles of drill bits that are ideal for drilling through harder metals like chrome. Tungsten carbide and diamond-tipped drill bits can quickly and efficiently cut through chrome plating.

Chrome

  • The term “chrome” refers to the metallic element chromium. Chrome-plated materials most often feature chrome plating manufactured atop a sturdy base metal like stainless steel. A chrome plating finish offers greater reflectivity than other finishes. Chrome is applied to metals in a thin layer through an electrochemical reaction that systematically deposits the chromium evenly atop the base metal. Chrome plating is very hard and offers high wear resistance in many environments.

Hardness

  • Several scales can be used to reference a material’s hardness, including the Moh’s scale, which measures hardness and ranges from 1 to 10. On this scale, higher numbers indicate harder materials. Chromium is one of the hardest metals and offers a hardness value of 8.5 on the Moh’s scale. Tungsten carbide is one of the most durable materials available and offers a 9 hardness value. Diamond is the hardest material available; no other material can scratch a diamond. On the Moh’s scale, diamond offers a value of 10, the highest possible value on the scale.

Tungsten Carbide

  • Tungsten carbide is a synthetic material widely used in the construction of drill bits. Tungsten carbide drill bits can be used to drill through almost any material, including a chrome-plated workpiece. They work very well under high-speed, hot applications. Tungsten carbide drill bits typically cost more than other high-speed steel drill bits, but they are designed to outperform and outlast almost every drill bit on the market. Tungsten carbide in general is a very tough, strong, durable, rigid material that is very impact resistant.

Diamond Tipped

  • Diamond-tipped drill bits can essentially drill through any material and are capable of drilling through chrome plating. They can easily withstand regular production drilling. Drill bits featuring diamond tips are some of the most expensive bits available. One single diamond-tipped drill bit can cost well over $100 as of July 2011; however, they are designed to outperform almost every other drill bit for any other application. Diamond-tipped drill bits are not designed for sharpening. Attempting to sharpen this type of bit will damage the diamond coating.

Chrome Vs. Nickel Plating

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Chrome and nickel are metals used to plate machine parts, such as rollers and cylinders, with a scratch-resistant surface that protects them from wear and tear. They are also used on bathroom and kitchen fixtures.

Chrome

  • Chrome comes in standard and hard versions. It is applied in varying thicknesses according to the required purpose. Thinner coatings are used on objects that are not exposed to much abrasion. Thicker coatings offer more protection from abrasion and corrosion. If a machine part is frequently exposed to water, experts at Phoenix Electroplating recommend an undercoat of nickel plating, as chrome is porous.

Nickel

  • Nickel is used to prevent corrosion, particularly when applied prior to chrome plating on objects. It is also hard-wearing and is widely used on machine parts in the oil and gas industry, the automotive industry, in making molds for plastics and in food processing machines.

Bathroom and Kitchen Fixtures

  • According to Rejuvenation, suppliers of home fixtures, nickel was the standard finish for kitchen and bathroom fixtures made from the 1800s until the 1930s. Chrome then overtook nickel in popularity. Nickel is warmer in appearance and creates a more authentic, antique look, but Rejuvenation says the two finishes blend harmoniously in one room.

How To Repair Chrome Plating

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The word “chrome” is short for chromium — a metal rarely found in a solid form. Instead, chrome plating — a thin layer of the metal — is applied to more durable materials. Chrome plating can be found on everything from car bumpers to bathroom fixtures. Over time, chrome plating can get dirty or rust. There are steps you can take to repair and restore the look of your chrome plating.

Instructions

  1. Clean your chrome surface thoroughly using a soft rag and water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Use a small amount of baby oil to remove any dirt or stains from your chrome plating that weren’t removed. You can also use white vinegar to remove hard water stains.
  3. Apply chrome polish to another rag. There are different varieties of chrome polish, including liquid and cream-based polishes. The experts at Auto Media further separate chrome polish into abrasive and non-abrasive varieties. If you’re unsure what kind to use on your restoration project, select a non-abrasive polish. This kind is less likely to scratch the chrome plating, leading to further damage.
  4. Remove heavy rust by applying chrome polish with steel wool. This step may not be necessary if earlier steps solved the problem. Scrub as hard as necessary to remove the rust. An alternative to chrome polish and steel wool for this step is sandpaper.
  5. Apply a layer of primer and chrome paint to the damaged area to achieve the look of chrome plating.

DIY Chrome Projects

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Chrome plating is also known as electroplating, chrome dipping or chroming, but there is only one process for applying chrome to metal, and that is electroplating. Nothing else looks quite as bright and shiny as true chrome plating, but it is a difficult and expensive process to do. The EPA heavily regulates the application of chrome, making the process even more expensive because it requires permits and inspections. For some purposes, there are more practical alternatives to the expensive process of chrome plating.

Two Types of Chrome Plating

  • There are two types of chrome plating: decorative chromium plating and hard chromium plating. Decorative plating is used in making jewelry, home appliances, tools, hardware and automotive trim. The thickness of decorative chrome plating is measured in millionths of an inch. Hard chromium plating is thicker and is used for functional items such as the working parts of an automotive engine. The thickness is measured in thousands of an inch.

Downsides to DIY Chrome Projects

  • Chrome plating is a very labor intensive project, and the EPA heavily regulates the use and disposal of chromium. It is usually better for the layperson to take chrome work to an experienced chrome shop. The process of chroming metal includes polishing and buffing the surface, acid dipping, zincating (if the metal is aluminum), copper plating, buffing the copper, acid dipping a second time, plating more copper, adding two to three layers of nickel plating and adding the chromium. The piece must be washed between each step.

    Chrome plating cannot be done on plastic or metal that has been damaged and repaired. Only solid metal able to withstand the buffing and acid dipping can be chrome plated.

    According to the EPA, exposure to chromium can damage the respiratory system and digestive system, leading to cancer and other serious illness or disease. Even extremely low levels of chromium (1 part per million) can be detected in the human body or the environment.

Alternatives to Chrome Plating

  • For some automotive applications, Chrome FX is an alternative to chrome plating. This machine is used to provide a chrome finish to plastic parts or parts that are too damaged for the normal chrome plating process. The machines are expensive, about $8,000 as of July 2011, but not as expensive as a chrome plating shop. Some shops that own a Chrome FX machine offer their services to DIY automotive restorers. This is an alternative to decorative chrome plating, such as door handles, but does not work for functional parts, such as engine parts.

    Nickel plating is sometimes used as an alternative to chrome plating. It is less expensive and labor intensive than chrome plating and there are fewer environmental regulations and concerns.

    For many DIY projects, a metallic chrome paint is sufficient. Chrome paint is applied by spray or airbrush. There are many projects suitable for chrome paint.

Chrome Paint for DIY

  • Chrome paint is disappointing for most automotive applications, and does not hold up as well as decorative chrome plating for door handles or bumpers. But diecast model builders use chrome paint on their models with good results. Model builders can spray paint chrome onto the diecast model or use an airbrush to apply it.

    Chrome and metallic paints are applied much like other spray paints. You can buy these paints in spray cans or as airbrush paints. Chrome can be sprayed or airbrushed onto decorative items, such as vases. Chrome paint is also suitable for light switch plates, picture frames, lamps and other decorative household items.

    Chrome paint is suitable for painting most plastic, glass and metal surfaces. Read the product label to determine suitable surfaces for spraying with chrome paint.

    When painting with chrome or other metallic paints, smooth the surface as much as possible because all of the imperfections are made more visible with metallic paint. Clean the surface to be painted thoroughly, removing dirt, dust and oily or sticky substances. Use chrome paint in a well ventilated area and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Chrome and metallic paints combined with rhinestones of different colors make a striking display on home decor items and clothing, such as T-shirts.

How to Remove Chrome Plating From Brass

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Chrome plating appears to be a shiny, silver coating on objects. In actuality, chrome is a clear coat that is applied on top of a nickel finish. To remove chrome plating, you need to clean off both finishes. Chrome plating is applied to many types of car parts, radio-controlled vehicles and other objects. Chrome plating on a brass object must be removed with a corrosive substance that will eat through the chrome.

Instructions

  1. Put on safety goggles and rubber gloves before beginning the stripping procedure.
  2. Fill a bowl or tub with 100-percent acetone, which is available at home improvement stores. Fill the container up until the acetone level is high enough to completely submerge the chromed item.
  3. Insert the chromed brass item gently into the acetone solution until it is submerged, if possible. Place a lid or piece of aluminum foil loosely on top of the container to trap fumes.
  4. Soak the brass item for at least two hours.
  5. Remove the lid or the foil and pick up the brass item in your gloved hand.
  6. Dip a toothbrush into the acetone solution. Use the bristles to scrub the surface of the brass to remove the remaining chrome.
  7. Apply one teaspoon of dish soap to a cloth. Wipe the entire surface of the brass to remove the acetone. Hold the brass item under running water to rinse it. Dry thoroughly with a towel.

 Chrome Plating Quality Requirements

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Chromium is one of the 91 naturally occurring chemical elements. Widely known as chrome, it is used as a decorative and protective metal applied in thin layers — thousandths or millionths of an inch thick — to a steel, brass, aluminum, copper, plastic or stainless steel base through the process of electroplating. The quality of decorative chrome used in automobiles and motorcycles is largely determined by tests which are run daily in large chrome plate shops to ensure rigorous standards are met.

Decorative Chromium Plating

  • Bright chromium plating is characterized by its bright metallic blue appearance. It is a hard, tarnish- and wear-resistant metal with one or more substrates of nickel or nickel and copper, depending on its intended application. For indoor products like office furniture and appliances, only one layer of nickel is required to provide optimum durability. For automobile and motorcycle trim, with its greater demand for corrosion resistance, a buffed copper layer is often applied to the bare steel, followed by at least two layers of nickel, one semi-bright and one bright. The bright nickel is anodic to the semi-bright nickel and protects it, thus spreading corrosion forces laterally and keeping it from penetrating to the steel base.

CASS Test

  • The CASS test — Copper-Accelerated Acetic-Acid Salt Spray — is the automotive industry’s approved method for testing decorative electroplated chrome parts. It tests nickel/chromium and nickel/copper/chromium coatings for corrosion resistance. Copper chloride dihyrate is added to a solution of five parts salt to 95 parts water and atomized in a heated cabinet. The fog it creates is collected and the pH is adjusted to the required 3.1 to 3.3 by adding reagent grade glacial acetic acid. The chrome-plated part to be tested is cleaned with a solvent solution and placed inside the prepared cabinet for durations of between two and 96 hours. If the sample shows no cracks, blisters, chromium-loss or corrosion stains after 66 hours, it passes the test and is considered acceptable for OEM use.

The Fuhrman Test

  • The Fuhrman test is a relatively new quality control test for electroplated parts. It is based on the Dubpernell test which had been used for several years to determine microporosity. This method used the deposition of copper to indicate the number of active pores on the chromium. Only the exposed nickel is plated with copper and copper does not deposit on the chromium; this shows which areas have active pores that will potentially attract corrosion. When the CASS test was bumped up to nearly 100 hours of testing from the previously required 16 to 24 hours, the Dubpernell test lost its effectiveness since the pores indicated by it were not always active after such a lengthy exposure to the CASS test.

    The Fuhrman method uses a prescribed voltage setting on individual surface areas; only those pores that have the capability to be active or create corrosion cells are indicated. This test more clearly and accurately indicates the actual active pores after the CASS test. The Fuhrman test is currently used by both Daimler-Chrysler and Volkswagen in their specifications.

The STEP Test

  • Developed by Chrysler Corp., the STEP test measures the thickness and dissolution potential of the semi-bright and bright nickel layers used as substrate in a chrome-plated part. It is incorporated into most automotive specifications and considered a reliable indication of exceptional durability in severe conditions when used in conjunction with the Fuhrman and CASS tests.

    The activity of the layers of nickel is controlled by electrolytes, therefore the proper maintenance and purity of the electrolytes contribute to optimal corrosion resistance. The STEP test measures these components in only a few minutes, but needs to be followed up with the Fuhrman test for microporosity and the CASS for a complete analysis of the corrosion resistance of the part.

Do it Yourself Chrome Plating

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The chrome plating found on car trim and kitchen appliances can also be made at home. Using electrolysis, it’s possible to bind chromium onto metals such as steel, brass, copper, aluminum and stainless steel, creating the shiny finish. In addition to creating a polished layer, the element also stops the metals from tarnishing. Remember, though, the process requires very strong chemicals, so caution should be taken before starting the process. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves as well as a dust mask.

Step 1

Thoroughly clean the material to be chromed. This includes degreasing (with a solution such as alkaline cleaner) and removing any paint, rust and dirt. Don’t forget that the grease from your hands can cause problems, so wear gloves during the cleaning process. The more thoroughly prepared the surface, the better the finished coating. A grinder or buffer may be helpful for the process. If there are any nicks or dents, smooth them out.

Step 2

Douse the metal in a dry acid pickle, which is necessary to prepare the metal for plating and also keep an oxide layer from forming. The pickling time will vary depending on the metal being plated. Be sure to follow the pickle manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 3

To make a chromium plating solution, you’ll need a combination of chromic acid, sulfuric acid and distilled water. Combine the chromic acid with sulfuric acid fluid in a 100 to 1 ratio. Then, add this solution to the distilled water. The amount of each of these ingredients varies according to the size of the piece you’ll be plating and the type of surface material. These ingredients are also available in chrome plating kits, which may also include the necessary tools. The chemicals in the chromium plating solution are carcinogenic as well as flammable, so they should be handled carefully.

Step 4

The immersion tank for the process should have enough room to fit any surface to be plated. For decorative chrome, the solution should be heated between 95 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. For hard chrome, the solution needs to be a little hotter, between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Dissolve the plating material in the solution.

Step 6

Run a positive charge from the variable current controller through the plating solution.

Step 7

Attach a negative anode to the metal piece to be chromed. As a result, positively charged pieces of chromium will be attracted to it. The longer the metal is submerged in the tank, the thicker the resulting chrome plating will be.

Step 8

After the chrome plating is complete, remove the object from the tank and rinse at least twice in running water.

 

How to Measure the Thickness of Chrome Plating

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Chrome plating comes in two types: decorative and hard. Decorative chrome plating is thinner and used for appearance and durability while hard plating, also known as industrial and engineering plating, reduces friction and increases resistance to both wear and corrosion. Among the least destructive ways of measuring chrome plating thickness is using a magnetic thickness tester. Cheap and lower-quality magnetic testers measure within a tenth of an inch, which may be too inaccurate for thinner plating, but a high-quality tester can easily be accurate to within one-hundredth of an inch.

Instructions

  1. Calibrate the tester. Typically this is done by the manufacturer before the product is made available but as a test the device can be used on plating with a known thickness. This can also serve as a gauge for how accurate the tester is on plating.
  2. Apply the magnetic end of the tester to the chrome plated object.
  3. Pull the tester away from the object. Magnetic testers determine the thickness of the chrome coating by measuring the force needed to pull the magnet away from the object. Since chrome, like copper and nickel, is a non-magnetic metal the tester’s magnetic pull comes from the steel or other metal beneath the chrome.
  4. Read the measurement from the tester. How the measurement is displayed depends on the specific tester used. Most include a screen attached to the test, either through a wire or as one contained unit. Other devices offer Bluetooth technology to display the measurement on a synced computer.

Chemical Composition of Chrome Plating

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While car buffs everywhere might be able to tell you something about chrome plating, they may not be able to tell you what it is made up of on the chemical level, or what kinds of chemicals go into the process of adding chrome plating. You might assume it consists simply of a layer of elemental chromium, but more is involved than just that.

Hard Chrome Plating

  • When it comes to hard chrome plating, it turns out it is simply elemental chromium. Hard chrome plating, however, is not what you think of when you think of chrome. It refers to a coating of the element chromium several thousandths of an inch thick that is applied to the moving parts of a vehicle or other machine for performance reasons. Chromium is fairly good at staying smooth and resisting corrosion, so it is useful as a solid lubricant and for resisting damage from wear. Hard chrome plating is used on pistons, cylinders, threads and other machinery.

Decorative Chrome Plating

  • Decorative chrome plating is the shiny plating that you see on the surfaces of cars and motorcycles. Unlike hard chrome plating, it is only millionths of an inch thick–at least the chromium metal is. Decorative plating includes not just chromium, but also at least one layer of nickel below and often a layer of copper under that. The nickel is what really gives it that smoothness and shine. Chromium is, in fact, much duller on its own, and it serves only to add a slight blue tint and keep the nickel from corroding on the outside. The layers underneath the nickel, whether they are more nickel or copper, also help against corrosion.

Chromic Acid

  • Chrome plating, when used as a verb, refers to the process of electroplating the chromium metal onto a surface using a bath of aqueous chromium ions. Because of its chemical composition, you do not want to get close to that bath. It contains hot (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) chromic acid (CrO3) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4, the same substances that makes you cry when you chop onions), a highly toxic mixture with an extremely high acidity (in the area of pH 1 to 0). A piece of metal to be chrome plated is placed in this bath and an electric current is run from the liquid through the metal plate. Metallic chromium builds up on the surface as the electrons are absorbed off of it by the chromium ions in solution.

How to Remove Rust From Chrome Plating Without Damaging the Chrome

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Chrome plating is the process of attaching a thin layer of chrome onto another metal. One of the main reasons for chrome plating is to give an object a lustrous silver finish. Furniture, decorative objects, small appliances and jewelry are just some of the objects that use chrome plating. As a metal, however, the chrome can form rust. This mostly occurs when the rust-proof coating on the chrome wears off and then the chrome plating gets exposed to moisture or water. Removing rust from chrome plating is a delicate procedure because you don’t want to damage or remove the plating.

Step 1:Scrub off the rust gently with a fine steel wool pad. Fine steel wool is effective in scrubbing away surface rust without damaging the underlying material reports Society of American Silversmith website.

Step 2:Make a paste in a bowl of two parts lime juice and one part salt. This is a non-toxic and gentle way to remove rust. Lime juice has citric acid that helps in removing rust and the tiny grains of salt offer a scrubbing action on the rust.

Step 3:Apply the paste to the chrome plating with a paper towel. Use paste only on the rusted areas.

Step 4:Leave the paste on the chrome plating for two to three hours for best results.

Step 5:Wet a sponge and wipe away the paste completely.

Step 6:Dry the chrome with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Step 7:Repeat Steps 2 through 5 if rust remains on the chrome plating.

Do it Yourself Chrome Plating

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The chrome plating found on car trim and kitchen appliances can also be made at home. Using electrolysis, it’s possible to bind chromium onto metals such as steel, brass, copper, aluminum and stainless steel, creating the shiny finish. In addition to creating a polished layer, the element also stops the metals from tarnishing. Remember, though, the process requires very strong chemicals, so caution should be taken before starting the process. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves as well as a dust mask.

Step 1

Thoroughly clean the material to be chromed. This includes degreasing (with a solution such as alkaline cleaner) and removing any paint, rust and dirt. Don’t forget that the grease from your hands can cause problems, so wear gloves during the cleaning process. The more thoroughly prepared the surface, the better the finished coating. A grinder or buffer may be helpful for the process. If there are any nicks or dents, smooth them out.

Step 2

Douse the metal in a dry acid pickle, which is necessary to prepare the metal for plating and also keep an oxide layer from forming. The pickling time will vary depending on the metal being plated. Be sure to follow the pickle manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 3

To make a chromium plating solution, you’ll need a combination of chromic acid, sulfuric acid and distilled water. Combine the chromic acid with sulfuric acid fluid in a 100 to 1 ratio. Then, add this solution to the distilled water. The amount of each of these ingredients varies according to the size of the piece you’ll be plating and the type of surface material. These ingredients are also available in chrome plating kits, which may also include the necessary tools. The chemicals in the chromium plating solution are carcinogenic as well as flammable, so they should be handled carefully.

Step 4

The immersion tank for the process should have enough room to fit any surface to be plated. For decorative chrome, the solution should be heated between 95 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. For hard chrome, the solution needs to be a little hotter, between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Dissolve the plating material in the solution.

Step 6

Run a positive charge from the variable current controller through the plating solution.

Step 7

Attach a negative anode to the metal piece to be chromed. As a result, positively charged pieces of chromium will be attracted to it. The longer the metal is submerged in the tank, the thicker the resulting chrome plating will be.

Step 8

After the chrome plating is complete, remove the object from the tank and rinse at least twice in running water.

How to Chemically Extract Gold From Plating

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Traditionally, recovering and extracting gold from gold-plated items was a complex and dangerous process. With advances in technology and scientific methods, extracting gold plating from computer scrap and old vintage ceramic and glass dishware has become a profitable hobby. Using the right equipment, in combination with nontoxic chemicals, you can extract gold plating in your home or a small workshop.

Preparation

  1. Visit the Shor International website and purchase a gold recovery unit that uses Subzero nontoxic chemicals for gold plating recovery (see Resources). There is no comparable product on the market that offers nontoxic chemical processes and equipment to safely recover gold.
  2. Set up a separate work area with plenty of ventilation. Choose a space that will not be disturbed by visitors, pets or children. Set up the gold recovery unit in this space. Put a box of your gold-plated items in the work area.
  3. Watch the instructional video that came with your gold recovery unit.

Extraction

  1. Add the nontoxic chemicals to the gold recovery unit.
  2. Add some of the gold-plated items to the gold recovery unit. Let the gold-plated items sit in the chemical solution for 10 to 15 minutes, unless the video specifies otherwise.
  3. Remove the items from the chemical solution. The solution should have stripped off the gold plating.
  4. Remove the gold and precious metals sludge from the bottom of the gold recovery unit, using the copper spoon or scoop. Place the gold sludge on a paper towel.
  5. Wearing safety gloves, squeeze any excess Subzero chemical solution out of the gold sludge and back into the gold recovery unit. Let the gold sludge dry.
  6. Weigh the recovered gold on the digital scale and make note of it.

How to Silver-Plate Plastic

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Silver electro-plating is an easy process that requires sophisticated equipment. You can silver-plate small plastic items in your home or studio with a rectifier, a small glass container and specialized chemicals. Large plate projects require expensive equipment that is usually not affordable for small studios or suited for home use. Silver-plating plastic is a great way to produce lightweight jewelry or objects. Many jewelry designers sculpt plastic or wax, silver-plate the creation and leave the wax or plastic as a solid core to create jewelry that is durable and looks large, but requires little silver to create.

Instructions

  1. Clean the plastic with soap and water.
  2. Paint the plastic with electro-conductive paint and a paintbrush and allow the paint to dry. Cover the entire surface.
  3. Attach the rectifier’s positive lead to the sheet metal that supplies the plating solution with an alligator clip. Attach the negative lead to the plastic object painted with electro-conductive paint with an alligator clip.
  4. Pour the plating solution into a glass container. There should be enough solution to completely immerse the prepared plastic object.
  5. Immerse the painted plastic item into the silver-plating solution. Turn on the rectifier and adjust it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The electrical current will cause the silver molecules in the chemical bath to coat the plastic painted with electro-conductive paint so that a “skin” will develop and plate the plastic.
  6. Remove the silver-plated plastic item once you are happy with the plating results and rinse it with water.
  7. Filter the solution and return in to its original container for storage. Two coffee filters work well. Clean and dry the rectifiers and the alligator clip attachments before storing.

How to Clean Corroded Chrome

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Chrome offers a shiny, mirrorlike finish on car wheels, bicycle spokes, household appliances, faucets, furniture or vintage car bumpers. Manufacturers apply a thin chrome layer over metals, usually steel, to produce a chrome-plated item. Chrome may look rusted and corroded, but it is actually the underlying metal that produces the rust. Cleaning corrosion off a surface requires a gentle hand to prevent abrading the chrome off the surface or leaving scratches in the finish.

Instructions

  1. Wash the chrome surface with a rag and mild dish soap to remove dust and dirt. Rinse the chrome and dry it with a rag to reveal all corrosion.
  2. Pour a layer of salt on a plate. Cut a fresh lemon in half and dip the lemon into the salt. Scrub the chrome corrosion with the salted lemon, reapplying salt as necessary, until the corrosion is no longer visible. Wash the chrome surface with dish detergent and water, rinse and dry with a towel.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. Generously spray the corroded chrome and let the vinegar sit on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes. Dip a toothbrush or soft-bristled nylon brush into vinegar and scrub the corrosion off the surface. Wash the chrome with soap and water, rinse and dry it with a towel.
  4. Mix baking soda with water to create a creamy paste. Pick the baking soda paste up with a damp sponge and scrub the chrome corrosion until it disappears. Rinse the chrome surface with water and dry it with a towel.
  5. Fold a sheet of aluminum foil in half with the shiny side facing out. Crush the foil in your hand to form a crumpled ball. Rub the corroded spots until they shine.
  6. Dampen a rag with cola. Dab the cola onto the chrome corrosion and let it sit for one to two minutes. Rub the chrome with the wadded aluminum foil until the corrosion disappears. Wash the chrome with hot, soapy water and dry it with a towel.
  7. Spread white toothpaste over the chrome corrosion with your finger. Scrub with a damp rag until you remove all corrosion. Rinse the chrome surface with water and dry it with a towel.
  8. Mix powdered orange- or lemon-flavored drink mix with water to form a paste. Pick the paste up with a nylon scrubbing sponge and rub it over the corroded areas of chrome until the corrosion is no longer visible. Wash the chrome with dish soap and water, rinse and dry it with a towel.
  9. Dip a rag or #0000 steel wool into a commercially available chrome polish. Rub the polish into the chrome until the corrosion disappears. Buff the polish off the chrome surface with a rag.

How to Color Tint Chrome

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Manufacturers use chrome for decorative purposes, to provide corrosion resistance, to ease cleaning procedures or to increase surface hardness. Owners can change the look of their vehicles by simply tinting the chrome on the bumpers, grill or other external car parts. In addition, as time passes, chrome plating may scratch, crack, rust or corrode, requiring a touch-up or replacement. Regardless of reasoning, you can change the color of your chrome fairly easily. However, you must tint or paint a chrome surface carefully since the color will not adhere well unless properly prepared.

Instructions

  1. Determine what color you want to tint the chrome and purchase it.
  2. Clean the chrome with the soap and water. Scrub lightly using the rag. Scrubbing too hard will cause peeling and scratching that will need repairing before tinting. Rinse with warm water and let it dry.
  3. Look for rust on the chrome. Sand any rust spots down with the sandpaper. Dust off any rust particles with the soft brush. Repeat this process until the rust is smooth or eliminated.
  4. Apply the adhesion promoter with the paint brush. Wait for it to dry. Read promoter instructions for drying times since they vary by brand.
  5. Spray the self-etching primer on the chrome. Even out the primer using a different paint brush. Wait for it to dry. Review primer instructions for drying time since it varies by brand. Apply the second coat and wait for it to dry.
  6. Apply the tint to the chrome with another paint brush. Wait for it to dry and repeat until chrome is the desired color.

How to Calculate Electroplating

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Electroplating is a process where the ions of a metal are transferred by an electric field in a solution to coat a conductive object. Cheaper metals like copper can be electroplated with silver, nickel or gold to give them a protective coating. A common application of this was with the production of automobiles, where steel parts were plated with copper, then nickel and finally chromium to give outdoors temperature and weather protection. We can calculate the time it will take to electroplate 1 mole of the metal given the metal being electroplated and the current being applied.

Instructions

  1. Look at the chemical equation to determine how many electrons are needed for 1 mole of the metal being electroplated. Using an example, if we take copper Cu as our metal with 25 amps, then each mole of copper Cu++ will require 2e- electrons.
  2. Use the equation Q = n(e) * F to solve for Q. Q is the amount of electricity or charge in coulombs C, n(e) is the number of moles of electrons and F is the Faraday constant 96,500 C mole-1. Using our example where we need 2e- for each mole of copper:

    Q = n(e) * F

    Q = 2mol * 96,500 C/mole

    Q = 193,000 C

  3. Determine the time it will take to electroplate out one mole of the metal using the equation t = Q/I. Q is the amount of electricity in coulombs C, I is the current in amps A and t is the time in seconds. Using our example:

    t = Q/I

    t = (193,000 C) / (25 A)

    t = 7720 seconds = 7720 seconds / (3600 seconds/hr) = 2.144 hours

How to Make Plastic Look Like Chrome

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Chrome has adorned everything from cars to houses and even decorations. But how do you get plastic to look like chrome? The process used to chrome-plate an object has varied, undesirable effects when used on most plastics. It can pit the plastic, fail to adhere at all or wind up blotchy and dull. With a few simple supplies, you can make plastic look like chrome while avoiding the pitfalls of trying to actually chrome-plate the plastic and reduce the possibility of damaging your plastic.

Instructions

  1. Put on your particulate mask. You can use a regular dust mask but it might not prevent inhalation of fumes and vapors. A full respirator is recommended, but a particulate mask and working in a well-ventilated area will suffice.
  2. Sand the plastic well with wet/dry sandpaper — 400 to 600 grit paper should be fine for this process.
  3. Clean your plastic with a mild degreaser using a rag and rinse it well with water.
  4. Spray the plastic with a thin coat of primer and let it sit for a couple days to dry and cure. Repeat steps 2 through 4 once; adding a second coat of primer. Primer can be purchased online at your local hobby or hardware store; brands include Rustoleum, Krylon and SEM (see Resources).
  5. Sand the primed plastic one more time after it has cured. Rinse it to remove dust and allow it to dry.
  6. Spray the plastic with a thin coat of chrome spray paint. Allow the paint to dry for a couple of days. Chrome spray paint can be purchased online or at your local hobby or hardware store; brands include Rustoluem, Krylon and Spaz Stix (see Resources).
  7. Spray the plastic with another thin coat of chrome spray paint. This will ensure that thin areas are built-up and the primer underneath does not show through. Allow the paint to dry for a couple of days before handling it.

How to Remove Scratches From Plastic Chrome

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Clean and unscratched chrome shines and reflects brightly in the sunshine. Although plastic chrome is durable and resists scratching, accidents happen whether you are on the road, at the mall and parked at home. You can remove light scratches from plastic chrome by washing and buffing the scratches. If your plastic chrome has a deep scratch, you may need to take it to the auto body shop for a professional repair.

Instructions

  1. Wash the plastic chrome in warm water with a sponge in a solution car-wash soap made for washing plastic chrome. The proportions of soap and water vary depending on the brand of car-wash soap you have. Mix according to manufacturer’s directions. Rinse the sponge frequently in clear water to avoid scratching the chrome more. You can use a brush, but make sure it has very soft bristles so it doesn’t scratch the plastic chrome.
  2. Rinse the washed area with clean water, then dry with a soft, thick-nap terry cloth or chamois.
  3. Wrap a piece of cotton cloth around your index finger. Add a dot of mild or non-abrasive polish to the tip of the cloth and buff the polish in a circular motion.
  4. Buff the polish away with a clean, dry cloth.

How to Remove Rust From a Chrome-Plated Steel Pasta Cutter

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Many cooks make their own pasta using a hand-crank or electric pasta cutter. Some pasta cutter manufacturers add chrome plating over the steel to form a rust and corrosion-resistant roller and cutter. Through use and over time, however, the chrome plating breaks down, allowing moisture to remain trapped against the steel, which leads to rust. Removing rust from a pasta cutter is necessary to keep rust out of the pasta. Several cleaning options are successful for removing rust from a chrome-plated steel pasta cutter; choose the method you feel comfortable using.

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle a generous amount of table salt on a plate. Cut a lemon in half and dip the fruit side of the lemon half in the salt. Rub the salted lemon over the rusty areas of the pasta cutter. Continue to dip the lemon in the salt and rub the pasta cutter surface until the rust is no longer visible. Wash the pasta cutter with dish soap, rinse it thoroughly with water and dry with a clean cloth.
  2. Place the pasta cutter in a container. Pour enough cola into the container to submerge the rusted areas. If the rust is all over the pasta cutter and the pasta cutter is large, soak paper towels in cola and lay them over the pasta cutter. Continue to add cola to the paper towels to keep them saturated. Let the cola remain on the surface for 20 to 30 minutes. Take the pasta cutter out of the cola or remove the paper towels from the surface. Wet a toothbrush with cola a scrub the pasta cutter. If the rust comes away from the pasta cutter easily, continue to scrub. If the rust remains stubborn, soak the pasta cutter for an additional 20 to 30 minutes and scrub it again. Wash the pasta cutter with warm soap water and dry it thoroughly before storing.
  3. Submerge the pasta cutter in white vinegar or lay white vinegar-soaked paper towels over the pasta cutter. Let the white vinegar sit on the pasta cutter surface for 30 to 45 minutes. Dip a piece of bronze or brass wool into white vinegar. Scrub the rusty areas of the pasta cutter until you no longer see rust. Wash the pasta cutter with dish soap, rinse with water and dry it completely.
  4. Wad up a piece of aluminum foil with the shiny side facing out. Rub the rusty areas of the pasta cutter with the aluminum foil until the rust disappears. Wash and dry the pasta cutter.
  5. Wet the pasta cutter with plain water. Sprinkle baking soda over the rusty areas of the pasta cutter. Let the baking soda remain on the surface for 30 minutes. Wet a scrub brush with water and scrub the rusted areas of the pasta cutter until no rust remains on the surface. Wash the pasta cutter and dry it with a clean cloth.
  6. Mist the rusted areas with water. Sprinkle a generous layer of powered laundry detergent over the rust. Cut a potato in half and scrub the rusted areas with the cut face of the potato until the rust disappears. Wash the pasta cutter with dish soap, rinse and dry it thoroughly.

DIY Chrome Projects

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Chrome plating is also known as electroplating, chrome dipping or chroming, but there is only one process for applying chrome to metal, and that is electroplating. Nothing else looks quite as bright and shiny as true chrome plating, but it is a difficult and expensive process to do. The EPA heavily regulates the application of chrome, making the process even more expensive because it requires permits and inspections. For some purposes, there are more practical alternatives to the expensive process of chrome plating.

Two Types of Chrome Plating

  • There are two types of chrome plating: decorative chromium plating and hard chromium plating. Decorative plating is used in making jewelry, home appliances, tools, hardware and automotive trim. The thickness of decorative chrome plating is measured in millionths of an inch. Hard chromium plating is thicker and is used for functional items such as the working parts of an automotive engine. The thickness is measured in thousands of an inch.

Downsides to DIY Chrome Projects

  • Chrome plating is a very labor intensive project, and the EPA heavily regulates the use and disposal of chromium. It is usually better for the layperson to take chrome work to an experienced chrome shop. The process of chroming metal includes polishing and buffing the surface, acid dipping, zincating (if the metal is aluminum), copper plating, buffing the copper, acid dipping a second time, plating more copper, adding two to three layers of nickel plating and adding the chromium. The piece must be washed between each step.

    Chrome plating cannot be done on plastic or metal that has been damaged and repaired. Only solid metal able to withstand the buffing and acid dipping can be chrome plated.

    According to the EPA, exposure to chromium can damage the respiratory system and digestive system, leading to cancer and other serious illness or disease. Even extremely low levels of chromium (1 part per million) can be detected in the human body or the environment.

Alternatives to Chrome Plating

  • For some automotive applications, Chrome FX is an alternative to chrome plating. This machine is used to provide a chrome finish to plastic parts or parts that are too damaged for the normal chrome plating process. The machines are expensive, about $8,000 as of July 2011, but not as expensive as a chrome plating shop. Some shops that own a Chrome FX machine offer their services to DIY automotive restorers. This is an alternative to decorative chrome plating, such as door handles, but does not work for functional parts, such as engine parts.

    Nickel plating is sometimes used as an alternative to chrome plating. It is less expensive and labor intensive than chrome plating and there are fewer environmental regulations and concerns.

    For many DIY projects, a metallic chrome paint is sufficient. Chrome paint is applied by spray or airbrush. There are many projects suitable for chrome paint.

Chrome Paint for DIY

  • Chrome paint is disappointing for most automotive applications, and does not hold up as well as decorative chrome plating for door handles or bumpers. But diecast model builders use chrome paint on their models with good results. Model builders can spray paint chrome onto the diecast model or use an airbrush to apply it.

    Chrome and metallic paints are applied much like other spray paints. You can buy these paints in spray cans or as airbrush paints. Chrome can be sprayed or airbrushed onto decorative items, such as vases. Chrome paint is also suitable for light switch plates, picture frames, lamps and other decorative household items.

    Chrome paint is suitable for painting most plastic, glass and metal surfaces. Read the product label to determine suitable surfaces for spraying with chrome paint.

    When painting with chrome or other metallic paints, smooth the surface as much as possible because all of the imperfections are made more visible with metallic paint. Clean the surface to be painted thoroughly, removing dirt, dust and oily or sticky substances. Use chrome paint in a well ventilated area and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Chrome and metallic paints combined with rhinestones of different colors make a striking display on home decor items and clothing, such as T-shirts.

How to Measure the Thickness of Chrome Plating

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Chrome plating comes in two types: decorative and hard. Decorative chrome plating is thinner and used for appearance and durability while hard plating, also known as industrial and engineering plating, reduces friction and increases resistance to both wear and corrosion. Among the least destructive ways of measuring chrome plating thickness is using a magnetic thickness tester. Cheap and lower-quality magnetic testers measure within a tenth of an inch, which may be too inaccurate for thinner plating, but a high-quality tester can easily be accurate to within one-hundredth of an inch.

Instructions

  1. Calibrate the tester. Typically this is done by the manufacturer before the product is made available but as a test the device can be used on plating with a known thickness. This can also serve as a gauge for how accurate the tester is on plating.
  2. Apply the magnetic end of the tester to the chrome plated object.
  3. Pull the tester away from the object. Magnetic testers determine the thickness of the chrome coating by measuring the force needed to pull the magnet away from the object. Since chrome, like copper and nickel, is a non-magnetic metal the tester’s magnetic pull comes from the steel or other metal beneath the chrome.
  4. Read the measurement from the tester. How the measurement is displayed depends on the specific tester used. Most include a screen attached to the test, either through a wire or as one contained unit. Other devices offer Bluetooth technology to display the measurement on a synced computer.