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– Plastic and Fiberglass Chrome Plating

Yes, Classic Components can chrome plate on non-metallic surfaces such as fiberglass and plastic!  Case in point is this crazy custom vehicle from N2A Motors.  This is a late model Corvette fitted with 1956, 1957 and 1958 Chevy body parts.  All off the chrome you see, however, is custom molded fiberglass that was chrome plated by CCI.  Parts that are rigid and can be racked and/or wired are good candidates for electroplating.  These bumpers and trim pieces look like steel – you can’t tell they are fiberglass after we got a hold of them!  Visit www.chromeplating.com for more info or let us know if you have a special project we can help you with!

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First introduced well over 40 years ago, the dry finishing process known as powder coating has become an extremely popular finishing technique within the industrial finishing market. Powder coating even represents approximately 15% of the entire finishing market, and is used on a wide variety of products where a large number of companies even specify the use of powder coatings because it gives such a high quality finish. A durable finish allows for a higher production rate, a vast improvement in efficiency, and a simpler manufacturing environment. Powder coatings are used to serve as protective and decorative finishes, and come widely available in a endless number of colors and textures.

How Powder Coatings Work

Powder coatings are made up of polymer resin systems, composed with a combination of pigments, curatives, flow modifiers, leveling agents, and numerous other additives. The ingredients stated above are mixed, melted, cooled, and ground into a powder that resembles baking flour. Through the process known as electrostatic spray deposition (ESD), the powder can be applied as a coating onto various metal substrates. This process is done with a spray gun. When applied the gun will give an electrostatic charge to the powder particles, where the powder particles are then attracted to the grounded material.

Once the powder coating is applied, the material is placed inside a curing oven, where the coating enters chemical reactions and forms long molecular chains, which results in a high cross-link density. These long molecular chains are what prevent the coating from breaking down. The spray gun application is the most common method for applying the powder coating. Keep in mind that powder coatings can also be applied to other substrates such as plastic and medium density fiberboard.

The True Durability of Powder Coatings

Powder coatings can be found on everyday products, and can be used to protect large pieces of machinery to powder coating automotive rims and even on miscellaneous household items. Powder coatings have a much more durable finish than liquid paints, and still manages to give off a clean, appealing finish. Products with a powdered coating are more resistant to damage from moisture, impact, chemicals, ultraviolet light, and other potentially harmful weather conditions. Because of its protective nature, powder coatings reduce the risk of scratches, abrasions, fading, corrosion, and other external issues.

It’s looks great, it’s tough, and last’s a really long time, especially when applied by powder coating automotive services.

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For those who like to collect automotive collectibles, the most desirable pieces are the hood ornaments and emblems, particularly if they are made of chrome. With just a bit of care and some knowledge of classic cars, the chrome ornaments and pieces can become a valuable part of your auto chrome restoration collection.

Types of Chrome Collectibles

There are many types of collectible chrome accessories. Known as “brightwork,” these collectibles can include hood ornaments, emblems, hubcaps, and chrome trim. These are the items that collectors are looking for in their search.

Basic Cleaning and Polishing

If the chrome surface does not have extensive damage, including scratches or pits, a gentle polishing with a terry cloth towel might be all that is required. Using the terry cloth towel is a basic way to remove any fingerprints and dust that may have collected. It is important to make sure the towel is clean or it may scratch the chrome surface of your classic car chrome restoration.

Anyone who has frequented a flea market or junkyard auction knows that many of the treasures are usually covered with grime and dirt from years of neglect. Those familiar with any auto chrome restoration know that the key to a proper restoration is patience.

Remove any loose dirt with a soft cloth or a dry brush. Using a smaller brush, like an old toothbrush, loosen and work any dirt out of the details on the chrome. Be sure to use as little water as possible. It is better to dip the brush into the water instead of the entire object, making sure to dry the surface as you go.

After the dirt has been removed, be sure to inspect the surface of the classic car chrome restoration for any pits and bubbles. It is possible that bubbled chrome plating will flake off if the surface is polished. There are times when it is better to stop the restoration rather than risk damaging the object by continuing with polishing or restoring. This is particularly true with very old and valuable pieces of auto chrome restoration.

Rust and Corrosion

A very common method to clean rust from a chrome surface during a class car chrome restoration is to use very fine steel wool. This can be time-consuming work and often requires a soft touch in order to avoid damaging the chrome-plated steel.

Restoration and Replating

There are times when cleaning and polishing do not produce the desired results. If this takes place, replating is an option that should be considered. Be sure to choose a professional replating shop, particularly with vintage pieces. Pieces can be damaged if the work done on the piece is below standard.

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– Bagger Mania

Bagger Mania is here at Classic Components/South Bay Chrome!  We had a fun time ramping up for the Sturgis Bike Rally.  Big custom bagger wheels are popular this time of year and hopefully after people see the work on our wheels at Sturgis, we will be getting busy again with new orders.  During this season we processed some crazy custom wheels including a wheel designed to look like a white wall tire as well as a custom spider web design.  The spider wheel was a custom one-off design that won’t be duplicated again we are told.  We also completed our first 32-inch wheel last week.  Hopefully 32 is as big as it will get but who knows  😯 ?  Check out some of the crazy pics: