Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bright and Shiny

I never really understood why parts are chromed. Turns out that chroming makes steel more durable because it resists corrosion. The shine is a side effect. Unfortunately there are heavy environmental costs.

Looks like an alternative is in the works...
Initial tests showed that when materials were coated in the nickel-tungsten alloy, using a modified electroplating technique that keeps its crystals particularly small, the plating remained stable indefinitely at room temperature. Nor did it easily degrade when exposed to great heat. The nickel-tungsten alloy can be extremely bright and shiny, and even made to become harder than chrome. All in all, its characteristics and absence of environmental hazards make it the most appealing replacement yet found for chrome. The researchers intend to report as much to a forthcoming conference of the National Association for Surface Finishing in Louisville, Kentucky.

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