Archive for the ‘Electroplating’ Category
October 12th, 2014
Rob and I will be exhibiting for A Class again this year and on hand to discuss your chrome or other plating (or polishing) queries. The show goes from 24-26 October at the Royal Exhibition building in Melbourne. We’re looking forward to seeing all the show has to offer and the fantastic classic car displays. Hope to see you there! Cheers, Greg.
Visit us at Motor Classica 2014
June 22nd, 2013
Restoration of any chrome plated car or motorcycle METAL part requires 3 main steps – Strip, polish, chrome.
Stripping can involve electric or chemical stripping, depending on the substrate material. Each layer of old plating may require a different solution to remove it. Parts that have two different metal types in the substrate – e.g. an alloy section joined to steel – can be problematic as the metal stripping process chemistry needed is different for each metal type. The stripping process will remove the chrome, nickel and copper layers of plating as well as any rust. Any surface repairs or dent knocking are completed before polishing.
Once stripped, the part needs to be polished, to bring the surface condition up to the required depth of shine for a good plating result. For some jobs, there will be an intermediary coating of copper plated onto the part, after which it is polished again to give greater surface depth (or to seal up a poor substrate).
The typical plating process is copper plate, then nickel plate (nickel is actually the thickest layer – it provides the strength and corrosion resistance). The final chrome plating stage is very quick, and provides the bright and distinctive silver-blue tone we know and love, to the metal part.
For plastic chrome parts the process is a whole different ball game (give us a call if you want to know more about that)
The process is very labour intensive and there is alot of chemical science involved. Some call it a trade, others call it a craft or even a ‘black art’. No matter what you call this process, to us it’s simply a pleasure to give old parts new life and contribute to some really good Restoration projects!
March 12th, 2013
There’s been alot of hype around Advanced Manufacturing lately. But we wonder what’s really driving it and what it really means. I found this article which talks about the many possible descriptors – and why we need them – for advanced manufacturing. It has certainly got us thinking.
Electroplating itself may be viewed as old technology, but with many innovations and advances made in the processes every day, in my view “traditional” plating still has a role in advanced manufacturing. When I think about it, we have helped many of our manufacturing customers apply this technology to achieve totally new and advanced surface finishing outcomes. As just one example – good old silver plating – still essentially applied the same way, but with tweaks to the inputs, purity and process, silver plating is providing new life or purpose to many very “advanced” products through its enhanced conductivity properties in applications such as radio frequency enhancement, solar conduction and others.
I guess we all have a choice. Either feel like we’re under threat, or embrace the idea of innovating our traditional processes, technologies and services to find new ways to take value to customers. Do you have any thoughts on this?
October 16th, 2011
The Chrome Plating services of A Class Metal Finishers will be on display at next week’s MotorClassica event in Melbourne, Australia from 21-23 October 2011.
Looking forward to meeting Classic motoring enthusiasts from all over Australia as well as International guests. We will be on hand to discuss not just chrome plating services but also our range of other metal surface finishing treatments such as restoration, repairs, plastic chrome, treatments for die cast parts and a variety of other services for Classic Car and Motorcycle enthusiasts.
See you there!
Lewis Bike - Plating by A Class Metal Finishers
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
July 26th, 2010
Electropolishing is and “Electrolytic” process (like in “electroplating”). How it works is almost the reverse of electroplating. The job is placed in an “electrolyte” solution and anodically charged with electric current. The effect is that burrs and scratches, belt lines or other imperfections in the stainless steel surface metal are removed, smoothed or refined. In some cases other metal materials can be electro-polished, depending on the process set up. Electropolishing can be a more cost effective option than using manual labour to polish the parts.
The electrolyte is a liquid solution containing various mineral acids. Depending on the purpose, the contents of the electrolyte may contain varying amounts of chromic acid, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid and/or several others. Thus, the solution should be handled with care and safety precautions and processing of parts only performed by trained or qualified personnel.
For more information or to obtain a quotation for Electropolishing of your stainless steel components contact A Class Metal Finishers.
Copyright © 2009, ACLASS Metal Finishers Pty Ltd. 6 Waddikee Rd, Lonsdale, South Australia, 5160. Telephone (+ 61 8 8384 4331) Email: email@example.com
Specializing in Copper Nickel & Chrome Plating, Gold Plating, Silver Plating, Tin Plating, Electroless Nickel, Plating on Plastic (ABS) and Metal Polishing