Chrome Dipping – The Darling of the Art Deco Era
Chrome dipping essentially means nothing different from nickel-chrome plating. Chrome dipping is just the common form of talking about nickel-chrome plating. And what is nickel chrome plating? That is normal chrome plating’s second name. What then is chrome plating? Chrome plating is a finishing treatment which works on the basis of the electrolytic deposition of chromium. The most commonly practised form of chrome plating is the thin, decorative bright chrome. This is normally a 10 micrometer layer over an underlying nickel plate. This is why chrome plating is also called nickel-chrome plating or chrome dipping. It gives a mirrory finish to items such as metal furniture frames and automotive trim. Thicker deposits, up to 1000 µm, are called hard chrome and are used in industrial equipment to reduce friction and to restore the dimensions of equipment that has experienced wear.
Nickel is electrodeposited or plated for a number of reasons. First and foremost nickel gives a decorative appearance. This is due to its ability of covering flaws in the base metal. This is also known as leveling. This deposit can be made brilliant and when covered by a thin layer of decorative chrome will maintain its brilliance even under severe conditions. When applied in "duplex" form nickel-chrome can give excellent corrosion protection to the base object. This requires plating two different kinds of nickel one a semi-bright nickel and other a bright nickel. Nickel deposits also offer more wearability than metals used for plating.
Nickel chrome plating is also called chrome dipping as there is a nickel layer on the base metallic or non metallic object and that is covered by a light layer of chrome. This practice is very popular nowadays, especially with the art deco rage catching on. There are classes being offered to teach people chrome dipping. Also there a variety of chrome dipping kits available. Though expensive the all promise a very stylized yet durable nickel chrome finish.
The major use of nickel is in preparing alloys. The chief characteristics of nickel alloys are their strength, ductility, and resistance to corrosion and heat. A number of stainless steels contain nickel. Nickel steels are often utilized in safes and armor plates. Alloys of nickel and copper are also used for a variety of things e.g., Monel metal, nickel bronze, and nickel silver. The so-called German silver is a nickel-copper alloy. Nickel-copper alloys are used in coinage. And did you know the American "nickel" coin is about one-fourth nickel? Constantan is a nickel-copper alloy used in thermocouples. Among other alloys of nickel are nickel-chromium alloys such as Nichrome used for electric heating elements. Also alloys of aluminum, nickel, cobalt, and iron, for example Alnico are used to make magnets and alloys of nickel, chromium.
However before attempting any nickel-chrome plating at home it is best to check with govt. regulations on them. Brush plating does not require any certification. But there are some restrictions on tank plating. The best thing to do would be a visit to a shop which specializes in chrome dipping.