Many industries take advantage of chrome electroplating to preserve and protect machine parts, reduce friction and increase wear and longevity. But, in no industry is chrome plating more important than in the automobile industry.
Chrome and automobiles go back a long way, since most cars from days past contained chrome bumpers, trim and other detail. Chrome was chosen because it looks stylish and avoids rust, even when out in the elements. Though today’s cars use far less visible chrome, it is still an important detail both on the outside of cars and under the hood.
Chrome electroplating is used as part of the restoration process of classic cars to bring chrome detail back to its original glory and protect the surfaces once again. In some cases, engines and other parts under the hood of a classic car may be plated, too. This is usually for decorative purposes when on the engine of a classic car.
New Cars Have Chrome for Different Reasons
However, chrome electroplating is used on many parts within a newer car’s engine, too, though not necessarily for the reason you would expect. In most cases, when newer engine parts are chrome plated, it is with hard chrome plating rather than decorative chrome plating, like you would see on a bumper.
Hard chrome plating is not designed for beauty, but rather for durability. It is usually not shiny like decorative chrome, either. Hard chrome plating is applied to machine parts for several purposes, including:
* Reducing friction
* Restoring worn parts to original size for further use
* Increasing oil retention
* Protecting parts from wear and tear in high stress situations
* Protecting parts from rust and corrosion
Many parts, like engines, drive trains, motor shafts and suspension parts under the hood of today’s cars are plated to increase life and reduce friction.
In fact, today’s automotive industry is one of the biggest users of chrome electroplating. Manufacturers find that plating engine parts significantly increases performance and life of parts, which saves customers money in the long run.
So, as you can see, chrome is still a big part of the automobile industry. Though we may see less chrome trim and detailing on the outside, chrome’s durability and strength is still protecting our cars on the inside. Its superior performance ensures that it will continue to protect our vehicles and increase their life for many years to come.