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
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.