Connecticut Patent of the Month – May 2021

Chrome finishes are an increasingly popular choice for making cars more aesthetically appealing. What many people don’t consider is that the coloured finish to your car can also provide benefits like corrosion resistance, brightness, wear resistance and endurance. Electrolytically deposited metal finishes are well known for these additional benefits. There are two main methods to achieve a dark chromium electrolytically deposited layer. One uses ionic liquids, choline chloride and lithium chloride, while the other uses dark chromium plated layers and a cobalt ion bath. However, with each of these, any time a customer wants a specific lightness to their chromium finish, they must reformulate their process to customize it properly. MacDermid Enthone, Inc. has developed a reliable electroplating process that is easily able to provide any desired lightness.

The adjustment of lightness can be controlled using a single electrolyte made of chromium (III)-ions and sulfur based organic compounds. MacDermid Enthone introduced a filtration step using activated carbon filters which can adjust the concentration of the sulfur component. This filtration does not impact other components in the bath, allowing the continual use of a single electrolyte for different chromium lightness. With this easily adjustable production method, chromium finishes can be easily customized across a scale of light to dark, with an efficient and cost-effective production process.

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