Q. One of my customers wants chrome plating on brass handrails. He also expects a life of five years for these rails. Should I use decorative or hard chrome for plating these rails? J.P]
A. The first point to discuss with your customer is whether a bright shiny finish or a matte finish is required. As you are no doubt aware, decorative chrome gives you a bright, attractive finish, while hard chrome gives you a matte appearance and is less attractive to many people. The hard chrome will probably last a lot longer on the handrails, but in my experience most handrails are usually plated with a bright finish. This means a decorative chrome process should be used.