Many people think it is impossible to chrome plastic – however, it is not. While it is possible to electroplate/chrome plate on plastic, it is a challenging and expensive process. Vacuum Metalizing is the most common process used as an alternate coating method for a chrome look on plastic. Vacuum Metalizing is a process that is widely used to make, toys, flashlight reflectors and automotive trim, shine like chrome. Vacuum metallizing does not have the same durability or corrosive resistance as that of chrome plating. It is important to consult with a metalized coating expert to help chose the best solution to meet your project requirements.

The Vacuum Chrome Process

Before parts are metalized, they are base coated to ensure a smooth surface finish. This step is critical 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 to form a uniform layer, which shines like chrome. After the metalizing takes place, there is a protective topcoat applied similarly 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.

Trusted vendor for custom vacuum chrome and custom painting on plastics
Custom black chromed Darth Vader

Custom Plastic Painting

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.

Process Considerations Before and After Coating

Vacuum Metalizing conforms to the base material that it is being applied. If there are any contaminants such as grease, oil, adhesives, or any texture, scratches, blister, etc., it will show through the coating.
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

Chromed plated Bell bike helmet
Trusted vendor for reflective coating for the automotive, aerospace and medical industries

Environment-Friendly Process

Vacuum Chrome is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective when compared chrome plating or chrome painting.

Feel Free To Contact Us

There are many different applications for Vacuum Chrome and plastic painting including; custom sports helmets and other equipment, automotive and motorsport accessories, art projects, automotive interior trim, prototypes, 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.
Do you have a project that requires a high impact chrome appearance? Feel free to contact us for a design consultation.