Please scroll through and find your metal, there will be important information regarding the size, quality, pre-treatment, limitations and other need-to-knows regarding the material of your part.
General Disclaimer: As the shape of any part becomes more complex (more ridges, twists, corners, crevices, etc) the more difficult it is in all steps of the plating process. This increases chances of blistering, flaking during the plating process thus slowing down the overal completion time. Any and all large imperfections, stains, blistering and flaking means we have to start the plating process from scratch. All parts will be inspected to ensure accurate descriptions of material type and quality. Any parts with holes, pipes, or divots where liquid can enter will pose a problem as plating involves dipping into liquid baths. These parts require additional labor, cost and time. As the customer you are responsible for supplying all proper information regarding your part. We are not responsible for the condition of your part while it is in our possession. Plating has an inherent risk due to the process involving liquids and chemicals.
Any parts that have a coating, paint, primer, gel, etc MUST have the coating removed before sending. We can remove any coating however with the nature of the removal we risk altering the part especially in scenarios where we do not know what the coating is. Any damages occurred during the removal process is not the responsibility of MFP.
The easiest shape to plate is anything that is flat, and has no curves, tubes, tight corner, confined shapes, holes, etc. Holes can cause liquid to fill the part during the plating process and can result in crystallization post-plating. Anything large with many bends and curves may pose a challenge to rack and fit into the tank. Shape dictates our racking process - this is why size, shape and measurements are key for us to know.
Metal is the simplest material for us to work with. It is already conductive and does not require an electroless process. We still etch the part through a variety of different processes, after such we proceed with our standard triple layer copper-nickel-chrome plating. Metals are often easiest to plate when they are flat, cleaned and if possible, sanded down.
3D Printing Materials
3D printing materials are varied. There is layering, epoxies, resins, etc, these will all plate the same way however some will require more copper. The higher resolution of the print the better, and having a flat, smooth surface will allow us to plate much more efficiently. 3D printed materials can be tricky. If you are planning on getting a 3D print plated - please call us so we can discuss the best way for you to print the item based on the end goal, process, etc.
Plastic is our most popular material. Working with plastic can be extremely difficult especially when it comes to any small breaks in the part. Small tabs are prone depending on the fragility of the plastic. Our plastic plating process requires a electroless pre-treatment that allows us to then plate the plastic as if it was metal. This process takes time and as such is the reason our plastic plating takes longer than metal plating.
Pot metal or also known as Diecast zinc : Is a very difficult metal to chrome plate as it requires a base pre-coating of cyanide brass or copper. Some other additional elements found in pot metal are zinc, iron, cadmium, and magnesium this makes the metal very sensitive to direct plating on any acid plating baths. Pot-metal often requires extensive pre-treatment that takes the bulk of our times. It involves longer and more intensive labor and is the reason why pot-metal can be more costly than other materials that we service. Pot-metal has to be in good condition, pot-metal that is extremely rusted and fragile can often times be extremely difficult to work with however it all depends on the specific situation of your part.
Fiber glass parts have a gel that is applied to the surface. This gel is often thinner on the side of the part's that are not visible when placed on vehicles. When we begin to etch this thinner layer of the gel, it can peel. This means we have to go in and plate that part in copper at least 2 times to fill in those gaps. This uses up labor, and a large amount of copper to ensure that the part is properly filled in and ready to be plated in Nickel. Please ensure fiber glass parts are properly prepped before giving them to us to plate.