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Old 05-20-2005, 09:49 AM
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Chroming Fiberglass

Been flipping through the latest Summit Racing catalog. Has a gold Impala on the front cover, and a write up about it in the middle of the catalog.

Seems the front and rear bumpers have been replaced by fiberglass reproductions that have been chrome plated, according to the article.

Only detail the article gives is that this is expensive.

Anyone hear of something like this, know how the process works and know anyone who can do this sort of thing?

I've heard of plating interior parts via vacuum deposition, but I didn't think that would work on exterior parts.

Maybe this car only goes to the track on a trailer, so it doesn't need a durable coating.

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Old 05-20-2005, 09:57 AM
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Vacuum Metalizing... Same process as you mentioned and I don't think it would live for very long on the street...
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Old 05-20-2005, 02:22 PM's Avatar Moderator
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Originally Posted by astroracer
Vacuum Metalizing... Same process as you mentioned and I don't think it would live for very long on the street...

Electroplating plastic (and even leather! - ever see a pair of copper plated baby shoes?) has been going on for nearly a century. All chrome on the front of new cars is electroplated chrome over ABS plastic. Haven't you seen a Chevy pickup with the chrome peeling off its chromed grille and exposing the gray plastic underneath? Incidentally, that same pickup probably had the clear coat peeling off too. GM is in TROUBLE!

The process requires painting the non-metallic part with a conductive paint. It is usually a clear lacquer base that is filled with bronze or silver powder. Once this is dry, the surface is conductive and the part is copper/nickle/chrome plated just as it would be if it were metal.
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