Two Types of Chrome Plating
- There are two types of chrome plating: decorative chromium plating and hard chromium plating. Decorative plating is used in making jewelry, home appliances, tools, hardware and automotive trim. The thickness of decorative chrome plating is measured in millionths of an inch. Hard chromium plating is thicker and is used for functional items such as the working parts of an automotive engine. The thickness is measured in thousands of an inch.
Downsides to DIY Chrome Projects
- Chrome plating is a very labor intensive project, and the EPA heavily regulates the use and disposal of chromium. It is usually better for the layperson to take chrome work to an experienced chrome shop. The process of chroming metal includes polishing and buffing the surface, acid dipping, zincating (if the metal is aluminum), copper plating, buffing the copper, acid dipping a second time, plating more copper, adding two to three layers of nickel plating and adding the chromium. The piece must be washed between each step.
Chrome plating cannot be done on plastic or metal that has been damaged and repaired. Only solid metal able to withstand the buffing and acid dipping can be chrome plated.
According to the EPA, exposure to chromium can damage the respiratory system and digestive system, leading to cancer and other serious illness or disease. Even extremely low levels of chromium (1 part per million) can be detected in the human body or the environment.
Alternatives to Chrome Plating
- For some automotive applications, Chrome FX is an alternative to chrome plating. This machine is used to provide a chrome finish to plastic parts or parts that are too damaged for the normal chrome plating process. The machines are expensive, about $8,000 as of July 2011, but not as expensive as a chrome plating shop. Some shops that own a Chrome FX machine offer their services to DIY automotive restorers. This is an alternative to decorative chrome plating, such as door handles, but does not work for functional parts, such as engine parts.
Nickel plating is sometimes used as an alternative to chrome plating. It is less expensive and labor intensive than chrome plating and there are fewer environmental regulations and concerns.
For many DIY projects, a metallic chrome paint is sufficient. Chrome paint is applied by spray or airbrush. There are many projects suitable for chrome paint.
Chrome Paint for DIY
- Chrome paint is disappointing for most automotive applications, and does not hold up as well as decorative chrome plating for door handles or bumpers. But diecast model builders use chrome paint on their models with good results. Model builders can spray paint chrome onto the diecast model or use an airbrush to apply it.
Chrome and metallic paints are applied much like other spray paints. You can buy these paints in spray cans or as airbrush paints. Chrome can be sprayed or airbrushed onto decorative items, such as vases. Chrome paint is also suitable for light switch plates, picture frames, lamps and other decorative household items.
Chrome paint is suitable for painting most plastic, glass and metal surfaces. Read the product label to determine suitable surfaces for spraying with chrome paint.
When painting with chrome or other metallic paints, smooth the surface as much as possible because all of the imperfections are made more visible with metallic paint. Clean the surface to be painted thoroughly, removing dirt, dust and oily or sticky substances. Use chrome paint in a well ventilated area and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Chrome and metallic paints combined with rhinestones of different colors make a striking display on home decor items and clothing, such as T-shirts.
- Calibrate the tester. Typically this is done by the manufacturer before the product is made available but as a test the device can be used on plating with a known thickness. This can also serve as a gauge for how accurate the tester is on plating.
- Apply the magnetic end of the tester to the chrome plated object.
- Pull the tester away from the object. Magnetic testers determine the thickness of the chrome coating by measuring the force needed to pull the magnet away from the object. Since chrome, like copper and nickel, is a non-magnetic metal the tester’s magnetic pull comes from the steel or other metal beneath the chrome.
- Read the measurement from the tester. How the measurement is displayed depends on the specific tester used. Most include a screen attached to the test, either through a wire or as one contained unit. Other devices offer Bluetooth technology to display the measurement on a synced computer.
- Time does not stand still, and neither do people. People are constantly on the go and need to get things done more quickly and accurately. Inventions like the computer, telephone and cellular phones have forever changed the course of human life. They allow people to conduct business and interact with each other without having to travel thousands of miles. More recently, a new type of transistor made out of graphene promises to make electronics smaller and perform at extraordinary speeds. This benefit should thrill not only consumers, but also researchers and businesses seeking ways to increase efficiency and improve productivity.
- When African American inventor Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr, witnessed a collision between a horse-drawn carriage and an automobile back in the early 1900s, it convinced him that something could be done to improve traffic safety. The fruits of his labor yielded the three-position traffic signal, which is used around the world today. In August 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation will be hosting six Driver Acceptance Clinics across the country to test an emerging technology that allows vehicle-to-vehicle communication. The DOT hopes this technology will help motorists avoid crashes by warning the driver of potentially hazardous situations.
- Emerging technologies can play a critical role when it comes to human health. Wheelchairs help those who have lost mobility in their legs to get around, while MRI devices detect abnormalities and diseases within people’s bodies. Positron Emission Tomography has been identified as a quicker and more accurate method of diagnosing infections in patients who may have cancer or cardiovascular disease. The technology is already making its way into several U.S. hospitals. Great Plains Regional Medical Center installed a PET device in April 2011 as a part of its facility expansion and to ensure cancer patients receive the best possible care. Lantheus Medical Imaging plans to present the positive results of its Phase 2 clinical trial of PET imaging technology at the Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT Conference in Amsterdam in May 2011.
- The scientific reports are in: destructive human habits are polluting the world and adversely affecting the environment. Many emerging technologies are now being geared toward environmental conservation. Inventors are creating eco-friendly light bulbs, beauty products and automobiles. Former U.S. president George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 into law to increase U.S. production of renewable fuels. Professor Frances Arnold is busy designing enhanced enzymes for making biofuels from cellulose. Her ultimate goal is to aid in the reduction of greenhouse gases by making low-emission biofuels a sustainable substitute for fossil fuels.
- Emerging technology is a sector of information technology responsible for developing new products or devices that are expected to be widely used in the next 5 to 10 years. Businesses often look to emerging technologies for new services or devices that will help them create a competitive business advantage. Emerging technology might also include advancements of technologies the business already uses. These advancements often allow companies to enhance business operations at a cheaper cost.
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
- Two important emerging technology fields for businesses are robotics and artificial intelligence. Robotics is an engineering science and technology field that uses electronic or mechanical technology to replace human labor. Manufacturing and production firms currently use robots in their systems, and the robotics technology industry seeks to expand to other business industries. Artificial intelligence focuses on creating intelligent machines for businesses to use. Businesses use this technology by entering information into business machines that can develop the information and make accurate predictions and identify trends.
Research and Development
- Emerging technology helps companies create more effective and less costly research and development processes. Photonic computing, quantum computing, biometrics and nanotechnology are a few technologies that allow companies to find new ways for researching and breaking down information and other business processes. These technologies are commonly used in the chemical, petroleum, medical and other industries. Increased research and development technologies can help companies develop products more efficiently and bring them to the consumer market faster than in previous years.
- Technology can improve how a business communicates, and several new communication methods are in the emerging technology pipeline. One emerging communication technology is virtual offices, where employees meet, discuss various situations and complete business functions. Voice over Internet Protocol is used for communicating via audio or video technology equipment. These technologies allow companies to work with employees or other companies around the world.
- Companies might not be able to use technology to replace or enhance every aspect of business operations. Certain business functions require the use of human labor or intelligence, including analyzing and assessing business situations or financial information. Consumers might find companies too impersonal when copious amounts of technology are implemented into a business’ operations. Consumers might not appreciate the technological advancements when they perceive that companies are unwilling to handle customer service situations in a personal manner.
In a wood fire, the visible flames are not due to combustion of the wood itself, but rather of the gases released by its pyrolysis; whereas the flame-less burning of embers is the combustion of the solid residue (charcoal) left behind by it.
Although the basic concepts of the process have been validated, the performance data for an emerging technology have not been evaluated according to methods approved by EPA and adhering to EPA quality assurance/quality control standards.
Waste is converted to a fuel by heating the waste which burns just as coal or wood does under the right controlled conditions. Whereas incineration fully converts the input waste into energy and ash, these processes limit the conversion so that combustion does not take place directly.
Waste Plastic under pressure and catalytic cracking produces fuel and can be used as a fuel source. Under certain temperature conditions the plastic macromolecular chains are broken down into small molecular chains (simple hydrocarbon compounds) and those small molecular compounds contain C4 to C20, this compound is a component of petrol, coal oil, and diesel.
Anhydrous pyrolysis can also be used to produce liquid fuel similar to diesel from solid biomass.
Fast pyrolysis occurs in a time of a few seconds or less. Therefore, not only chemical reaction kinetics but also heat and mass transfer processes, as well as phase transition phenomena, play important roles. Fast pyrolysis is a process in which organic materials are rapidly heated to 450 – 600 degrees C in absence of air. Under these conditions, organic vapors, permanent gases and charcoal are produced.
Researchers at Virginia Tech have identified pyrolysis as a potential technology for disposing of poultry litter. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop transportable pyrolysis units to process the waste from poultry growers within one locality, thus reducing transportation cost. Researchers believe that the char, an inert and highly porous material, plays a key role in helping soil retain water and nutrients, and in sustaining microorganisms that maintain soil fertility. Researchers have obtained from wood – initially beech and then coniferous species – oils with almost ideal characteristics. Straw, which has a lower energy yield – 50% as opposed to 70% for wood – is also due to be analysed in the near future.
Bill Gates’ personal investment vehicle, is reportedly backing Sapphire Energy, a start up working towards a commercial-scale facility to produce oil from algae, but we think he would do well to look at gasification and pyrolysis as his energy technology because there are so many possibilities in this technology.
Gasification technology also offers the possibility to create a new domestic supply of gas. It works by converting the hydrocarbons in coal, biomass and waste petroleum products into a gas called “syngas” that can be used in place of natural gas to generate power, or used in manufacturing as fuel or feedstock. Gasification avoids many problems which can occur in biogas digesters, and is also able to process lignin and cellulose, which are hard to ferment.