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Satin chrome for areas of the car most, er… sat in

Following on from my last posting, when I highlighted our article in chrome plating plastic components, for readers of Injection World, I've had a few comments regarding the difference between the traditional bright chrome and the growing ever more popular satin chrome.

Now a salesman at heart, I have to admit the chemical complexities are perhaps beyond the scope of this short piece, but thanks to a concise explanation from our Technical Manager, Graham Williams, I understand the satin finish is achieved thanks to a different organic additive used in the base plating solution.

The base solution remains almost identical to that used for bright chrome, based on bright nickel, but the organic additive changes the appearance to the slightly duller, almost brushed steel effect seen with satin chrome plated components.

There is no different treatment to obtain satin although it is more difficult to control due to the nature of the satinising agent, but our experience ensures we achieve the same high quality finish our bright chrome is renowned for.

This new satin finish is effectively applied to the nickel substrate, not the chrome. We still put chrome on top of the satinised base, so the performance will be identical to bright chrome plating with regards to thermalcycling etc., which is important for the long term performance of automotive components in particular.

Currently the trend from car designers is to use this finish in the cabin of vehicles (the area most sat in), perhaps with the intention of reducing the potential for distraction caused by shiny surfaces inside the car. Whatever the reason, we have to recognise that the interior of the modern car is beautiful place to be.

And there is little doubt, appreciation of the benefits of satin chrome in automotive design is growing and where car fashion goes, others will follow, so we expect to be busy this year with increased demand for our satin chrome.

Written by David Brereton at 00:00

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