Is coloured 'chrome' possible?

Hi, I am looking to see if chrome finishes can be coloured and still be as weather-proof and tough as traditional nickel/chrome?

Whats the cheapest process -is it electroplating?

Thanks

Do you mean tinted mirrored finish? Like anodizing?

OK I didn’t know you could get an anodized mirror finish.

Anodizing agents are really just dyes aren’t they -so do you just dye the nickel? Is it UV stable?

Thanks

Im not sure anodizing is just dye, I think its more like adding other metals to “contaminate” the finish to achieve the color your looking for. Can anyone concur? or did I just invent this idea in my mind…

I pretty sure anodizing essentially etches your material and adds color or polish to it. You can get many many colors for a price. I’ve seen nice “colored chrome” paint finishes. If you start with a polished surface, alum. or stainless perhaps, and layer tinted clear coats over it you get a very nice, rich color over your polished material. Check out MOZ metals.

And these guys can anodize in just about any color.

One thing about color anodizing, if its going to be an exterior application it won’t last in the sun. Your blacks, bronzes, and clears are all that will make it.

Color anodizing is indeed just dye. If you do it at home you can even use Rit clothing dye. The dye is applied part way through the process- the anodic layer is initially very porous, so it readily absorbs dye. Then you boil the part to seal up the pores and lock in the color.

I’ve never seen an anodized finish as reflective as chrome. Even if you start with highly polished aluminum, the acid dip takes the sheen way down.

A chrome-esque finish is typically referred to a “Bright Dip” in the anodizing world.

Doesn’t quite have a Mirror finish, but its still quite reflective.

Thanks for the help. Looks like I am after a yet to be developed solution :slight_smile:

BTW found this site on metal finishing which has some great and detailed technical sheets e.g.microscopic diagrams and photos of surfaces.

http://www.pioneermetal.com/finishes/bdanodize.php

Thanks Again

I withdraw my earlier comment, and thank you for your explanation! Part of the fun of being wrong is learning something new.

Really good information here:

http://www.anodizing.org/processes.html

you can also try a paint process called pvd:

the part is metallized, a translucent color coat is either sprayed or dipped, and then a clear coat goes over that.

PVD or “Physical Vapor Deposition” is a good way to get that colored-chrome look. It is rather expensive and depends on how much surface area your part has. The smaller the part, the more you can fit into the chamber and thus the cheaper per part.

Metal is vaporized and deposited onto the outside surfaces of your part.

Not sure if it will stand up to your durability requirements though.