Using metal plated plastic components offers designers and manufacturers a number of advantages, most of which are readily apparent; the chrome coating is tough and durable; it sits on a non- corrosive base; the component is considerably lighter in weight, which in some costing applications can be advantageous over metals; design can be more flexible; a high quality finish can be achieved consistently.
Bright chrome plating is a classic finish for many metal products, produced by electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal substrate, providing corrosion resistance and increased hardness in addition to the decorative appearance.
These same properties can be achieved by metallising plastic components, with the added advantage of weight-saving over metal components, whilst offering greater design flexibility with modern plastics to achieve the same high quality chrome finish for decorative parts.
In addition to the traditional mirror finish of chrome, surface treatments applied to the moulding tool can deliver a variety of results, including a mix of mirror and textured finishes on the same component. The now popular satin chrome, a dulled down version of mirror-finish chrome uses satin nickel instead of bright nickel, to achieve the finish, as chrome does not really add colour.