When considering the efficiency of the spray chrome chemical process and the chemicals used to create it, there are three primary factors to consider: the cold, the heat, and how the plating chemicals are stored and preserved. Ensuring these factors are taken into account will help produce a consistent lustrous finish.
PROTECTION FROM THE COLD
Plating during the colder seasons presents a particular challenge. Cold temperatures can adversely affect the reaction time in the chemical process. Cold temperatures have the unwanted effect of reducing the efficiency of the plating reaction. This then causes the user to need to apply more chemicals than usual, a waste of money, and can result in a yellow appearance to the chrome. To summarize, cold plating chemicals are a waste of chemical products, time, and money.
Adjusting for the cold in the plating process involves three considerations:
1) Consider excessively cold shop and paint booth temperatures. The paint booth should be at least 23ºC while applying Cosmichrome.
2) Ensuring the temperature of the plating chemicals are between 23º-26º degrees Celsius / 73º to 79º degrees Fahrenheit when in use.
3) Store the chemicals involved in the process at the aforementioned temperatures will help extend the shelf life.
ADJUSTING TO HOT SUMMER WEATHER
Just as the cold can affect the chrome plating process, heat can also have an adverse effect on the process. If the materials, environment, or chemicals being used are overheated, there’s a possibility that the plating process could occur more quickly than usual and they will have a shorter shelf life. Our customers work in hot climates every day but It takes practice to get used to applying the chemicals in hot weather. Consider working in the coolest part of the day if your shop isn’t air-conditioned.
Working in temperatures above the “goldilocks zone” between 23º-26º degrees Celsius / 73º to 79º degrees Fahrenheit is done every day by our customers all over the world but they work in the cooler part of the day and then learn to work with the faster-reacting chemicals. Store your chemicals in cooler temperatures for longer shelf lives.
Obviously, no application of the Cosmichrome plating process can occur without the appropriate chemicals and solutions, from Basecoat all the way to Topcoat
Cosmichrome products have a shelf life of a year, but improper storage can drastically reduce that time by months. As a general rule, keeping the chemicals well-sealed and away from extreme heat is a must, but actually taking care of each individual product according to its specific instructions can aid their shelf life significantly. For example, the A22 Activator’s shelf life can be extended by 1-2 months by simply refrigerating it. Be sure it is room temperature when you mix it into room temperature distilled or deionized water.
THE FINAL WORD ON SPRAY CHROME PRESERVATION
Consistently producing the optimum spray chrome finish is really very simple, but it requires foresight and special attention to detail. Firstly, it is imperative to ensure that your environment and materials correspond to optimal temperature conditions (between 23º-26º degrees Celsius / 73º to 79º degrees Fahrenheit) – neither too hot nor too cold. Secondly, the chemicals that are applied in the plating process need to be properly stored and maintained; with these considerations taken into account, spray chrome preservation is all but assured.
For more information on spray chrome preservation and to learn about our spray chrome products and processes contact us today for your free consultation.
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