Permanently coloring chrome surfaces, such as trim strips at cars or brand badges on car keys, has previously been a tough challenge. With chrome finishing or chrome plating processes, the material properties of chrome meant that the paint did not form a permanent bond with the surface, which inevitably led to signs of aging such as peeling paint. “Thanks to our new chrome finishing method, problems like that are a thing of the past,” says Johannes Münker, Vice President Sales & Operation at Huf Technologies. The new chrome finishing process involves firing a laser beam at the chrome surface. The input of energy changes the surface in a way that produces colors. “The colors that this chrome finishing process creates are permanent. Tests have shown that the chrome does not undergo any changes to its material properties, and the lasered colors last just as long as the chrome coating,” says Johannes Münker. The chrome finishing method can be used to produce blue, black, brown, green, gray, and gold colors, including light and dark shading. As an additional special feature, it is possible to create a chromatic light effect reminiscent of the shimmer that you see on a compact disc. More colors are in development.
Chrome finishing with signocrom for high durability
In addition to the patent for the chrome finishing process, the company has also applied for a new product brand name. Huf has chosen the name “signocrom” specifically because it does a good job of expressing what makes the chrome finishing technology special. As Johannes Münker explains, “The ‘crom’ is derived from the Greek word chroma, meaning ‘color,’ and it also refers to the name of the metal that we are coloring. ‘signo’ represents the unique design possibilities offered by our technology, which we can use to give surfaces a unique ‘signature’.”