Brass Plated Vs. Chrome Plated Metals Explained

Brass and Chrome-plated metals are two trendy metal-plated finishes used for various products, looks, and designs.

Brass and Chrome are plated on metal using electroplating, but the look and finish are not the same. Brass will have a warm golden color, whereas Chrome will look like shiny silver metal. Both are electroplated treatments, so choosing one can also depend on the look you want for a specific product.

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Brass Plating Vs. Chrome Plated Metals

Brass plating and chrome plating are both metals that are electroplated. Electroplating is when the metal finish is put on top of another metal or other materials.

Brass is a warm yellow-brown color, and chrome will be a shiny silver metal finish. Even though they are both metal-plated, the look and color of each of them are very different.

The plate technique or the electroplating of Brass and Chrome would be similar even though the result and color are different.

Brass Plated Metal

Brass plating is one of the most widely used plating methods due to the color and brass plated appeal for decorative purposes. Usually, brass-plated items are sprayed with a lacquer topcoat to prevent tarnishing and discoloration.

Brass plating is done from a cyanide solution containing a mixture of copper and zinc cyanides. The amount of each of these in the electroplating bath can vary greatly.

One of the reasons brass plating is so popular is that you can get the brass look and feel of an item without solid brass. Also, the plating still allows you to have a variety of finishes on the brass, such as matte brass, high shine brass, antique brass, and brushed brass.

Because of all the finishes you can create with brass, it is an ideal metal for home decor and home furnishing products, including decorative hardware for furniture and accessory items.

Chrome Plated Metal

Chrome plating is also a plated metal finish. It is less commonly called chromium plating. Chrome plating is accomplished by plating a thin layer of chromium oxide on a metal object.

Chrome plating is used a lot for decorative elements as it is both pleasing and durable at the same time. It is usually plated on metals such as steel, aluminum, plastic, copper alloys, and zinc alloys.

Chrome plating is always corrosion-resistant, often used on car parts, tools, and kitchen utensils. To some extent, chrome may be used for decorative hardware in the home furniture and furnishing industry.

Plating Of Brass And Chrome

The technique to plate both Brass and Chrome would be done by electroplating. Even if the look and color result is very different between Brass and Chrome, the process of making the finish is similar.

Electroplating Process Defined

Plating is also known as electroplating. The Oxford dictionary defines electroplating as:

“coat (a metal object) by electrolytic deposition with chromium, silver, or another metal.”

Oxford Dictionary

In simple terms, electroplating is when a metal coating is placed onto a metal or another kind of material to coat or put on a finish. There are many reasons why it can be good to Electroplate vs. having a solid metal which include:

  • Decorative Purposes – Electroplating is done on metal to give the metal a specific look or feel.
  • Cost – Electroplating or a plated finish is usually cheaper than solid metal. An example of this is plated brass is usually always cheaper than solid brass.
  • Corrosion – Many electroplated metals have better resistance to corrosion and abrasion.
  • Recoat Old Parts – Sometimes, older parts are electroplated to build up the thickness of the older part or piece.

Electroplating Steps Reviewed

The process of electroplating would be the same for brass and chrome plated. The process to electroplate is as follows:

  • Metal Preparation – The metal would first need to be prepared for electroplating.
  • Cleaned – To plate metal, the metal would need to be cleaned. To ensure that the object or metal is cleaned, it is placed in a cleaning solution.
  • Plating Set Up – The negative and positive electrical lead substrate is connected to the metal. The negative and positive substrate helps set up the plating process.
  • Plate Bath – The plate bath deposits begin, and the object is exposed to a current. The more current, the thicker the plating will become.
  • Plate Post-Treatment – The plate post-treatment step is when the object has a coating treatment to prevent tarnishing and improve the overall corrosion resistance.

As the Electroplating material can create waste material, once the process is completed and the material we can not use anymore, we will properly dispose of it.

Whether you are plating a brass or chrome finish, the process to plate them is the same. The main difference is the kind of material used for the plating.

Chrome Plating On Solid Brass

Sometimes people will want to have brass fittings but with chrome color. Solid brass with a chrome finished is used for faucets, pipes, and plumbing. Also, sometimes for musical instruments.

The advantage of this is that you can have the natural malleable durability of brass while at the same time having the shiny chrome silver finish.

Depending on what you need it for or if you want some brass fittings that are chrome plated, this could be the way for people to go when wanting a brass object in a shiny silver finish.

To find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and home furniture products – including brass or chrome objects – don’t hesitate to contact me, AnitaCheck out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.

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Anita Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Hummel. I am the President of Mondoro. I am passionate about helping you CREATE, DEVELOP, and MANUFACTURE home decor and home furnishing products. I am also an avid blogger with a love of travel and riding my motorcycle around the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Brass Plated Vs. Chrome Plated Metals Explained