Frequently Asked Questions
High quality, decorative electroplating (aka plating) is a very complicated process and covers numerous manufacturing disciplines. The plating performed at City Plating and Metal Finishing is geared to specific areas. The information presented here is provided to help you save time in finding the proper sources to your metal finishing projects.
What is Electroplating?
In the simplest sense, electroplating is the application of a thin metal coating on parts. More specifically, plating is accomplished by an electrochemical process where metal ions in an aqueous solution are reduced to the metal state on the surface as part of an electrical circuit. For a more thorough technical exposition, the subject of electroplating is covered thoroughly in Wikipedia.
What service does City Plating and Metal Finishing provide?
Our primary service is polishing and plating. We take metal parts from customers and provide an extensive polishing only service, or, we polish and buff them and then electroplate them with the particular color or finish that they desire.
What kind of parts do you process?
City Plating and Metal Finishing specializes in processing aircraft interior components like seat belts, reading lights, cupholders, air gaspers, lav and galley sinks, faucets, cabinet latches, door hardware, hinges, trim and inlays etc. When time allows, we also process certain high-value, auto components, marine and residential interior hardware.
However, we cannot chrome plate car/truck bumpers, car/truck alloy wheels, motorcycle/bicycle frames or rims.
What metals can be processed?
We process parts made from aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel and carbon steel.
Parts made from cast iron, lead, pewter and zinc die cast or plastic we can not process.
What sizes of parts can be processed?
In general, parts up to 96" in length can be processed. But depending on the finish, longer lengths may be accommodated.
Can you process to industry specifications?
Yes we can. The specifications that we commonly process to are:
ASTM B-456 - Nickel plus chromium coatings on aluminum, steel, copper, copper alloys and stainless steel
AMS-QQ-C-320 / AMS2460 Class 1 - Electrodeposited chromium
AMS-QQ-N-290 / AMS2403 Class 1 - Nickel plating (electrodeposited)
AMS2700 / QQ-P-35 - Passivation of corrosion resistant steels
MIL-DTL-5541 - Chemical conversion coatings on aluminum and aluminum alloys
Can bathroom fixtures be refinished?
Yes it is possible to change the existing finish on bathroom fixtures but unfortunately there is a caveat. The caveat is whether the existing finish was electroplated or was PVD coated. If the present finish was electroplated, then the answer is yes. If PVD coated, then the answer is no.
Unfortunately there is no definitive way for a customer to know the answer unless you know the model and the OEM indicated it in their marketing information. One possible indicator is the color. If it is anything except brass-colored or chrome-colored, it most likely is electroplated. Another possible indicator is the presence of a clear coating. If there is a clear coating present, it is most likely electroplated. But unless the coating is compromised somewhere, the average customer will not be able to detect the clear coating.
If you're in the area, bring the parts by and we will try to make the determination of whether they can be refinished or not.