Chrome Plating and Star Dusting Revisited

Your May 2006 Plating Clinic answer to B.J. about star dusting appeared to leave out one very important question (www.pfonline.com/articles/clinics/0506cl_plate4.html). Is the problem being experienced by B.J. really “star dusting”? I hope you did in fact verify that it was truly star dusting before nailing the plater. And in that case, a statement that the condition had been verified would have been helpful.


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Q. Your May 2006 Plating Clinic answer to B.J. about star dusting appeared to leave out one very important question (www.pfonline.com/articles/clinics/0506cl_plate4.html). Is the problem being experienced by B.J. really “star dusting”? I hope you did in fact verify that it was truly star dusting before nailing the plater. And in that case, a statement that the condition had been verified would have been helpful.

It seems to me that star dusting is a term which is used incorrectly about as often as it is used correctly (perhaps even more often). I have heard it used to describe plating pits (we’ve never ever had any of these of course), roughness (nor this problem either—well maybe that one part), pits and holes in the base material, blisters in zinc diecastings and other conditions. It seems to be a term that describes a lot of different conditions to different people.

My concern is that I am a plater and if B.J., who says he is not a plater, is using the term star dusting to describe some condition which is not star dusting then both he and the plater now have a problem because they will not be attacking the real problem. And if one of my customers who has a cold shot problem in his castings reads this, I will have to do more microscopic cross sections and provide more proof that what he chose to call “star dusting” is really an area of cold shot in his die casting.” A. W

 

A. You are absolutely correct. We must ascertain that we have defined the problem correctly and that we are discussing apples and apples not apples and oranges! In the case of “star dusting,” this term is used to describe a number of different problems as you points out. A problem cannot be solved unless all sides agree as to what the problem is. Sounds like common sense but not followed that often.

And yes, I failed the test! I did not verify what B. J. was describing as “star dusting” really was “star dusting!” I am doing penance by answering my many e-mails in a timelier manner! 

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