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Archive for the ‘Plating’ Category

March 27th, 2011

27 March 2011 – A Class Metal Finishers will display their chrome plating services at today’s Jaguar E-Type 50th Anniversary.   Held at the Birdwood National Motor Museum, entrants are expected from all over Australia.  A Class is looking forward to seeing many top Jaguar Classic and restored vehicles – many of which have chrome parts restored by Greg Wood and team from A Class Metal Finishers.

The event is being run by the Jaguar Driver’s Club of South Australia and A Class is a long time sponsor of the club.  Says Greg Wood “Club members take their cars seriously – but they know how to enjoy them too.  It’s always a pleasure to provide our chrome plating or polishing services to people who know and love their cars and understand the value of a good quality chrome job.”

More information about A Class’s Chrome plating services for restorers is available here.

October 30th, 2010

This weekend’s Adelaide Extreme Horsepower show is showcasing many great custom and restoration vehicles.  Among them a unique BMW Drag car said to be worth around $1 million.  Says The Advertiser newspaper, Saturday 30 Oct 2010, the many gold plated parts on this unique car have added much value to it.

A Class Metal Finishers is also present at the show, with a display stand to showcase to visitors some of the quality chrome plating and metal polishing work they can do.  A Class has restored the chrome parts on many of the cars on display at the show and although we can not claim responsibility for the gold on the BMW, certainly have added some precious gold plating to other vehicles.

October 22nd, 2010

As far as I am aware, cadmium plating has been outlawed in Australia (with the possible exception of one or two plants that are still used, under supervision, for high spec defence work).  This article from Canada http://www.canada.com/health/Health+minister+pleads+cadmium+contaminated+jewelry/3694054/story.html is a concern, as it indicates cadmium is still being used – and in things like children’s jewellery no less!  Importers and consumers beware!

A Class does not, of course, use cadmium or ‘cad’ plating.

September 20th, 2010

To get a good finish on any electroplating job  – i.e. a component to be chrome, gold or silver plated -  good preparation, using a variety of Metal Polishing skills, methods or techniques, is essential. Anyone who has ever painted a surface knows that the result is going to be so much better if you pay attention to the preparation.  The same principle applies when you are trying to achieve a good electroplated finish.  If the metal surface has pits, scratches or other imperfections before you start, unless they are polished out they will still be there in the final finish.  That is not to say that the part needs to shine like a diamond before plating, but certainly a good a level of surface preparation and smoothness is required.

Metal polishing is a generic term and includes:

GRINDING – SANDING. Grinding depends on the use of abrasives in any of a number of levels of grit density.  Using hand tools or upright lathes, the surface needs to be worked up to a level that will deliver the quality you are looking for.  The coarser grit sanding belts, compounds or wheels are used to grind out the deeper imperfections.  The metal polisher then uses finer and finer grit densities on the surface until the surface reaches the desired smoothness required.

LINISHING.  This is a form of grinding or sanding wherein an upright lathe – often a large machine of several horsepower – with a fitted sanding belt is used.  Linishing is a highly skilled operation and should only be performed by an operator experienced in the techniques and safety care required.

POLISHING OR BUFFING. In this step, a softer polishing ‘mop’ or wheel is used, in conjunction with a selection of polishing pastes or compounds, to bring up the surface shine.  If NO electroplating is to be done on the item, the polishing or buffing would be the final step in the process of bringing that metal to a nice shine.

VIBRATORY POLISHING.  This type of polishing is less reliant on skills and labour and involves placing the parts for polishing into a drum or vessel which contains polishing ‘media’ – usually small stone-like pieces of varying grittiness.  The job and media are tumbled or shaken in the vessel, causing vibration to disperse through the media, slowly grinding and polishing the surface.  The vibratory process is generally only used for higher volumes of similar parts that require similar treatment.  Vibratory polishing is not usually thought of as a good method for achieving very high quality or mirror-like finishes.

Other preparation is also important before plating a metal item.  Processes such as cleaning and chemical or electric stripping may also be required and, of course, also need to be managed well if a good quality plating outcome is desired.  Please consult A Class if you require any further information about metal polishing and other electroplating pre-treatments.

A Class Metal Finishers provide electroplating, metal polishing and other surface treatment or coating services to manufacturers, restorers and the general public.

August 27th, 2010

A Class have been able to electroplate plastic parts for a long time – but traditionally it was only a specific material known as ABS plastic. Nowadays we can plate pretty much any type of plastic using newer methods. Since developing and extending our plastic parts plating capabilities to include non-ABS materials we have successfully chrome plated a large range of plastic parts with outstanding success in the quality of the results.

Everything from dashboard parts, to handles, flanges, trims and other fittings can be chromed.

Unlike older methods for achieving a chrome finish on non-metals, our new process bonds very well and has low surface imperfections.  We’ve received compliments all round on the results (thanks guys).  The process has opened up scope for chroming of just about any parts and is NOT limited just to Plastics – actually just about any material can be chrome plated!  Greg and staff would be only too happy to advise on the possibilities of this service – limited only by your imagination it seems!  (Other finishes, besides chrome – for example: gold, silver or nickel – are also possible for plastic items)

plastic chrome parts

Plastic Chrome Parts

April 20th, 2010

We often get asked – what is the difference between hard chrome and normal chrome plating?

Chrome (short for chromium) plating is commonly performed for either DECORATIVE or FUNCTIONAL reasons.  The functional version is referred to as HARD chrome. Actually, as far as plating solutions and technologies go – aside from a few practical differences – both types are much the same.  The main difference is in the THICKNESS of the chromium material applied.

Standard chrome plating for decorative uses is a much thinner deposit (about ONE micron) of chromium over the relatively thick layer of nickel plating underneath.  Hard chrome, however, is a much thicker deposit of chromium – ranging anywhere from 5 microns to, sometimes, over 3000 microns – depending on the purpose of the coating. (A micron is equivalent to one millionth of a metre, or, one thousandth of a millimetre. In inches there are about 25 microns to one thousandth of an inch)

Because it is thicker, Hard chrome provides much greater corrosion and wear resistance, which is a benefit for many industrial uses but is overkill and expensive for decorative uses.  Hard-chrome can be used to build up surface thickness on items that have worn down – for example shafts, bores or tool surfaces.  The thicker the deposit the more uneven the surface dimensions become – thus requiring the part to be re-machined after plating.  An alternative to hard chrome, that achieves similar levels of corrosion and wear resistance, but builds up evenly, (thus avoiding the need for re-machining) is Electroless nickel.

Decorative chrome plating is still a resilient coating, it can certainly stand up to a lot of exposure and last many years (example – plated chrome parts on cars or motorcycles).  The nickel plating (and to a lesser extent the copper plating) layers beneath the chrome provide a lot of protection or corrosion resistance and, applied properly, will meet the quality and longevity standards for its intended purpose.

Please contact electroplaters “A Class Metal Finishers” if you need more detailed information about any plating process.

March 19th, 2010

On Saturday 27 March 2010, A Class Metal Finishers’ custom chrome plating and other services will be on display at Bice Oval, Christies Beach.  Off Ya Rocker Promotions are once again staging the “Old Skool n New Age Auto Show”, an annual event showcasing a range of classic and modern cars, bikes and other things of interest to automotive enthusiasts.

Greg Wood, Manager of the A Class’s Polishing and Special Treatments Division will be on deck to provide specialist advice to restorers with chrome parts in need of refurbishment or customisation.  He will also display examples of the company’s offerings in the area of chrome plating of plastic and non metals as well as colour finishing (e.g. candy chrome).  It could be a good opportunity to pin Greg down for some expert finishing advice – he’s usually a pretty hard guy to catch!

Copyright © 2009, ACLASS Metal Finishers Pty Ltd. 6 Waddikee Rd, Lonsdale, South Australia, 5160. Telephone (+ 61 8 8384 4331) Email: acmf@aclassmetal.com.au
Specializing in Copper Nickel & Chrome Plating, Gold Plating, Silver Plating, Tin Plating, Electroless Nickel, Plating on Plastic (ABS) and Metal Polishing