Many people think it is impossible to chrome plastic, it is not. While it is possible to electroplate/chrome plate on plastic it is a difficult and expensive process. Vacuum Metalizing is the most common process used for a chrome look on plastic. Vacuum Metalizing is the process used to make, toys, flash light reflectors and automotive trim, shine like chrome.
Vacuum Metalizing DOES NOT have the same durability or corrosive resistance that chrome plating does.
Before parts are metalized they are washed and basecoated to ensure a smooth surface finish. This is very important for both adhesion and appearance of the vacuum metalized layer.
During the vacuum metalizing process, aluminum is evaporated under vacuum, in the vacuum chamber, which creates an aluminum vapor cloud, when the vapor comes in contact with the parts; it condenses back on and bonds to anything in its line of sight to form a uniform layer, which shines like chrome.
After the metalizing takes place there is a protective topcoat applied similar to the ones used in the automotive industry. You can also add dyes to the topcoat to achieve bright chrome colors, gold, bronze, copper, black chrome or gunmetal, and anodized finishes.
In addition to vacuum metalized chrome we also offer custom painting on plastic. These finishes included gloss finishes, matte finishes, semi satin finishes, soft touch or soft feels, and high metallic finishes.
Chrome vacuum metalizing should not be cleaned with abrasive materials. It should only be cleaned with a damp soft cloth. The chemicals in household cleaners can affect the clear coat causing it to become hazy or milky.
Vacuum Metalizing conforms to the base material that it is being applied to. If there is any contaminants such as grease, oil, adhesives, cleaners or any texture, scratches, blister, etc it will show through the coating.
It is much more environmentally friendly and cost effective than chrome plating or chrome painting. There are many different applications for Vacuum Metalizing and plastic painting including; custom sports helmets and other equipment, automotive and motor sport accessories, art projects, automotive interior trim, toys, models, novelty items, display items, decorative fixtures, cosmetic closures, etc.
If you want the look of custom chrome on anything plastic, glass, metal, etc. Mueller Corporation can do the job.