Common Metals

Chrome

Older cars used to be adorned with chrome… the more the better!  Chrome is actually steel that has undergone several plating processes to endure the temperature changes and weather that a car is subject to outdoors. The most expensive and durable process involved plating the steel first with copper, and then nickel, before the chrome plating was applied.

Before chrome plating became popular in the 1920s, nickel electroplating was used. In the United States for the short production run prior to the entry into the Second World War, plating was banned to save chromium and the decorative pieces were painted in a complementary color. In the last years of the Korean War, the banning of chrome was contemplated and several cheaper processes (such as plating with zinc and then coating with shiny plastic) were considered.


Hard Chrome Plating

Hard chrome plating provides good wear and erosion resistance, as well as good corrosion protection and fine surface finishes. Until a few years ago, it could also be applied at a reasonable cost. However, because of the many environmental and financial sanctions that have been imposed on the chrome plating over the past several years, cost has been on a consistent upward trend, and is projected to continue to escalate.

chrome car parts