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From: (Don Wilkins)
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Chrome plating plastic?
Date: Wed, 06 Jan 1999 16:55:40 GMT

On Mon,  4 Jan 1999 21:02:10 -0500, Bernard O Carter
<> wrote:

>So exactly how does one chrome plate plastic. Is it something that could
>be set up in a small shop or do I need miles of tanks and millions of
>dollars? It would be most advantageous in my business to be able to do

If you are going to plate plastic a standard procedure is a surface
etch, a stannous chloride dip followed by a palladium chloride dip,
then electroless copper. At this point you have enough surface covered
to do an electroplate.

What happens is that some divalent tin is absorbed on the surface.
This tin reduces palladium to the metal which also sticks and then the
palladium surface will catalyze the electroless deposition of copper.
Once you have the thing copper plated you can plate what you want.

I would suggest bright nickel instead of chrome. Those chrome plating
baths contain sulfuric acid, hexavalent chromium and gas like crazy.
If you just gotta chrome plate get a chemical hood to contain the
splatter etc. and float plastic balls on the surface to minimize
spray. Read the MSDS on hexavalent chromium before buying any

Those chrome plated models you see probably have vapor deposited

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