Surface treatments help to increase the lifespan of components such as strikers and latches. These coatings improve the quality and ultimate end-user experience. Specifying the correct protection helps to minimize warranty costs and mitigate the risk of field failure – ultimately, maintaining consistent and reliable performance.
Aluminum offers design freedom and the choice of self-color or chromium finishes. Natural aluminum finishes are preserved by a transparent conversion coating and lacquer. Chromium finishes are created using advanced adhesion techniques to ensure the plated layers last throughout the wheels natural life. esi automotive have developed the latest sustainable and compliant technology for both these finishing choices.
Most automotive body trim, grills, and mirrors are made from plastic substrates such as ABS and ABS alloys. To achieve the desired bright/satin chromium finish usually applied to these components they first need to be metalized. Today, more and more applicators are using MacDermid Enthone's ZERO chromium evolve plating on plastic and our decorative trivalent chromium plating solutions.
REACH compliant, hexavalent chromium-free coatings for exterior automotive trim
Decorative chromium trim is still a critical factor in exterior car styling.
Our chromium-free etch and trivalent chromium plating processes comply with the latest environmental directives.
They meet most global OEM specifications for decorative coatings and offer designers choices with dark and black chromium plating processes.
Our decorative and fashion finishes guide contains the latest automotive specifications. It demonstrates the latest design trends and how to meet them. The guide contains over 120 global plated color standards. Why not request a download from our resource section today?
hexavalent chromium free
REACH legislation for hexavalent chromium
Today automotive manufacturers are specifying that chromium plated components must meet the EU REACH* requirements. Essentially this means having plastic components treated and plated in processes which are hexavalent chromium-free.
A plastic substrate component is ‘etched’ to ensure adhesion of the plated layers. Etching using our evolve chromium-free process means avoiding the use of hexavalent chromium.
Trivalent chromium plating
The metallic chromium layer is plated using TRILYTE and Starlite trivalent chromium solutions. These technologies also have the advantage of having 90% less chromium in solution and being PFOS free.
These hexavalent chromium-free REACH compliant technologies meet automotive decorative specifications.
*Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals regulation 1907/2006, Annex XIV
Compliant trivalent chromium coatings which meet automotive specifications
Plated plastic parts must meet adhesion and corrosion resistance tests. Examples include;
Test method ASTM B533 assesses adhesion. It measures the force required to peel a metallic coating from a plastic substrate. Components etched in the evolve hexavalent chromium-free process meet these requirements.
Assessing corrosion resistance
CASS testing is used to determine a decorative coatings resistance to corrosion. ASTM B368 specifies the number of cycles without the coating showing premature corrosion. Trivalent chromium TRILYTE and Starlite plating processes meet this requirement for both exterior and interior vehicle applications.
dark and black chromium
Dark and black chromium plating processes are proven in production
Designers can choose from dark chromium through to ‘black’ chromium coatings. These are all based on trivalent chromium plating solutions. These choices all meet CASS* requirements. Dark coating are not available from hexavalent chromium plating solutions.
Starlite and Twilite plating processes deliver a smoky, dark chromium coating. These processes meet over 25 global automotive specifications. They can be applied to both bright or satin finishes.
A black coating using TriMac Eclipse is our latest production proven coating. TriMac Eclipse is also based on trivalent chromium technology. It delivers a black coating while retaining the metallic feel of chromium.
*Copper-Accelerated Acetic Acid-Salt
frequently asked questions
A typical cyclic corrosion tests comprises of 24-hour cycles of salt fog, elevated temperatures and high humidity. They are regarded as more aggressive than traditional neutral salt spray (NSS) testing. Read more >
Chromium (or chrome) plating is applied to exterior components to improve car aesthetics. Chromium actually forms a very small (0.3 microns to be precise) part of the total coating. The majority is plated copper and nickel (in total more than 50 microns). These improve ductility and provide the 'mirror' brightness. Chromium is also applied to interior components. Read more >
Surface coatings are applied to a broad range of metal and non-metal surfaces.
These coatings have functional and decorative properties which include uses, such as:
- Improving wear and tear.
- Providing corrosion resistance.
- Decorative uses, such as improving aesthetics.
ZinKlad is part of ESI Automotives' Quality Performance Systems. ZinKlad helps automotive engineers to specify the right products in a post hexavalent chromium-free world. The steady evolution of the ZinKlad program has enabled many global OEM’s to specify ever-higher performance standards.Specifically it tackles the challenges for high-performance automotive coatings of the future. Read more >
ESI Automotive focuses on; extending power range and efficiency in electric vehicles (EVs); safety in radar and vision systems for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and Displays and in-mold electronic structures (D&IME), in particular, integrated touchscreen films. The hero car images highlight these main application areas. Read more >
The ESI Automotive initiative helps automotive manufacturers, their supply tiers, PCB board fabricators and surface finishing applicators to meet the evolving demands of the automotive industry.
ESI Automotive have forged strong connections with automotive manufacturers all over the world. Those relationships led us to understand that the needs of the automotive industry are changing. These changes include integration of surface finishing technology, hardcoated films, advanced circuitry and joining materials. Read more>