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Chrome plating on plastic bumper faces

Chrome plating on plastic bumper faces

Chrome plating on plastic bumper faces

I am building a low-volume series of custom fiberglass sports cars and would like to make bumper faces for them out of a reinforced plastic that can be chrome plated.  Naturally, I need a price that would be less than having the bumpers pressed from steel and chrome-plated.  Is there some way to build these without the high initial costs of injection molds, steel dies, etc.?

RE: Chrome plating on plastic bumper faces

you could thermoform the parts out of ABS and have them plated.

RE: Chrome plating on plastic bumper faces

It may be possible to produce the parts in fibre glass, paint them with a conductive primer and then chrome plate them.

RE: Chrome plating on plastic bumper faces

Some plastics can be treated with solutions of metal salts which chemically deposit a very thin layer of metal. This is usually Nickle or Copper. I don't know the chemistry of the so called "Electroless Nickle" but it is a comercially avaliable process. It is the process normally used to Plate ABS.

If the plastic compound does not react favorably with Electroless nickle, it might react with Cupramonium Hydroxide. I know this reacts with reducing agents to deposite copper. It works to some degree with Acetal and nylons.

The chemical attack necessary to deposite these metals, will do some damage to the surface of the plastic and may attack stressed areas more, and may create microscopic cracks in the surface, thereby creating stress risers and noticably reducing impact strength. Also, the hard non yeilding chrome film might crack, this crack then propogates into the plastic.

A company called Techline Coatings also does a range of so called Ceramic Coatings that polish up to a chrome like finish. I don't know, but they might be applicable to FRP


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