When your bumpers, hubs, wheels and any other chrome-plated areas of your vehicle are scratched or dinged up, your vehicle looks rather old and rough. To restore its youthful appearance, an auto body repair shop like Auto Body By Duie LLC can add chrome or rechrome these areas. Here is how the chroming and rechroming processes are done and how they can make your vehicle look new again.
Adding chrome to part of your vehicle that did not have chrome before is often easier than rechroming. Chrome is added to metal through an electroplating process, which some auto body and paint shops can do in-house, but others may need to send parts away to a specialist to achieve this. If the parts you want chromed are made of plastic, then they are often painted with a metallic chrome spray that more readily adheres to plastic than an electroplating process. Additionally, traditional electroplating processes for adding chrome should not be used on plastic as the heat from the electrical charges could melt and damage the plastic components to which you want to add a chrome finish.
Rechroming places new chrome over previously-chromed parts of your vehicle. This is commonly done when the parts are damaged during an auto accident and the chrome has been removed or peeled from the damaged parts of your vehicle. The first steps that the technician needs to take is to remove some of the current and remaining chrome and then tap out or remove dents. When these parts (e.g., fenders, rims, etc.) are restored to their original and intended shape, they are lightly sanded in order to prepare them for the chroming process. If they are made of metal, electroplating may be used to rechrome them. If they are made of plastic, special metallic chrome paints are used instead. Then the parts are coated with a protective sealant before being reinstalled on the vehicle.
How These Processes Make Your Vehicle Look New Again
Bright, shiny chrome has a way of drawing attention. When you see new, polished chrome you almost automatically think, "new car." If the rest of your vehicle is in fairly good condition with no rust, the new chrome or added chrome really makes the vehicle stand out when it rolls down the street. Adding shiny chrome wheels or hubs also makes a car look newer because auto dealers pay special attention to these details to draw buyers in. Repaired and rechromed areas of your vehicle belie the vehicle's age, too, because it makes your vehicle look like it just rolled off the dealer's lot.