Injection Molded Parts that Shine: What to Consider When Chrome Plating Plastics

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Jul 26, 2018 9:46:15 AM

Are you designing injection molded parts for a new product or looking to update an existing product? There are numerous finishes that may be of interest. Perhaps you are considering a chrome finish on your ABS or PC ABS part? Beyond the snazzy, visual appeal, there are other good reasons to use chrome. First and foremost is that it adds an attractive, decorative finish. In addition, it may also provide a level of corrosion protection, make cleaning the surface easier and increase the overall durability of the part.

consumer appliance with chrome platingWhen designing a new product, remember that chrome is a great differentiator and will immediately draw the eye’s attention. When bringing new life to an existing product, chrome can offer a new look to an otherwise familiar design. Whether you have a new or existing part, a decorative chrome finish definitely adds value. There are the obvious advantages to adding “bling” to your product. Did you ever notice that bikers and truckers love the chrome look? It implies strength, value and can be a real head-turner.

Bottom line: Do you want your product to get noticed? Consider adding the chrome touch.

Ferriot can help you with the design and manufacture of parts that require a decorative finish. Because the plating process is specialized, we work with a highly regarded and reputable company here in Northeast Ohio. Together, we can provide a part that will stand out, withstand harsh environments and keep that shiny look.

Not every injection molder can produce a part for effective chrome electroplating. If you do not address this issue early, it may result in costly mistakes that drive your reject rates to unacceptable levels.

Ferriot has the experience and will work with your team in the early design stages to provide a great looking part. We can help you answer questions such as:

  • Why use a chrome finish and why use Ferriot?
    To add visual appeal, strength and value to your products. By putting Ferriot’s team to work on your project, you avoid time delays and costly errors. We have the valuable combination of deep experience designing tooling for parts to be plated as well as long-term working relationships with plating companies.
  • What should you avoid when considering a chrome finish?
    Don’t assume anything. Determining an old part needs a shiny new look is just the beginning. You can’t simply decide: “Let’s chrome plate it!” Parts that were not designed to be plated from the beginning may need to be properly redesigned. In the case of a new product design, if chrome is being considered, be sure this is addressed from the start of the design process.
  • How should you design a part for effective electroplating?
    There are a number of design considerations. Use a plateable grade of ABS or PC ABS only. There should be no blind holes, no deep recesses and no sharp edges.
  • What molding parameters must you consider to improve manufacturability?
    Shoot and ship won’t work.  Molders need to take into consideration that a part will be plated and act accordingly.  Basically, shoot it hot, shoot it slow and don’t pack it. We’ll elaborate on this question in a future blog, but the molder and plater should begin a Design of Experiment (DOE), agree on the parameters and follow the plan to completion. 

glowforge chrome partWhether for products in the appliance, medical, automotive, plumbing or hardware market, a chrome finish can make your part stand out. Ferriot will work closely with your designers and engineers to get you that bright, shiny part economically and on-time.

Our team looks forward to working with you as we apply our deep understanding and expertise in providing you with quality parts that shine. Contact us to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.

At Ferriot, we offer a variety of in-house finishing options that include painting, pad printing and EMI-RFI shielding. Make sure you visit the Finishing Operations page of our web site for details. 

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Topics: Injection Molding, Finishing Operations

Kevin is a Senior Account Manager at Ferriot.
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