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Plumbing and sanitary fittings

Delivering unmatched corrosion resistance with beautiful, high-quality finishes.
sanitary fittings, compilation of chrome-plated-parts

Corrosion resistant. Versatile. Low maintenance.

Delivering the beauty and wear resistance of decorative coatings to your kitchens and bathrooms. 

vintage sink with visible plumming

Beautiful decorative finishes allow designers to create fashionable showerheads, faucet handles, and decorative covers from corrosion-resistant plastics that retain the visual and tactile appeal of metal.  This is why our plating-on-plastics chemistries are a favored option for manufacturers of sanitary equipment.  Our coatings can be used on multiple plastic substrates, from ABS to cutting-edge materials like PEEK, nylon, and Ultem, providing design engineers with many material options.

chrome plated sanitary taps

Our decorative finishes span the gamut from bright to dark chromes, with textures from classic mirror to smooth satin. They are not only beautiful but also highly corrosion-resistant coatings, delivering a beautiful aesthetic that showcases your design creativity for years to come.  We also offer environmentally compliant processes that decrease the use of toxic chemicals and reduce waste treatment.

Technology overview

Surface preparation

Brass or zamak is usually polished or vibratory finished to produce a smooth and bright aesthetic. Any polishing residue must be removed in MacDermid Enthone BUFF OFF or METEX SU 486 soak or with ultrasonic cleaners. Both metals are then degreased in a mild alkaline cleaner such as METEX T103 to remove any residue, oil, and dirt before electro-cleaning.

  • Brass is usually treated catholically
  • Zamak is usually treated anodically

The electro-cleaning stage ensures a water-break-free surface prior to acid activation. 

For the final stage of acid activation, METEX M 629 is extensively approved for all metals.

Plating on Plastics

Plastics, such as ABS, are used for fittings including shower facias and controls. Newly engineered plastics such as PEEK, nylon, and Ultem can also be metalized. As these plastics are generally more durable than ABS, they offer the design engineer options to replace metal substrates with plastic. In combination with the surface activation process, the finished component retains the coveted metallic feel. 

With a comprehensive portfolio of surface finishing solutions for Plating on Plastics, we partner with design engineers to deliver unmatched aesthetics and exceptional performance. 

Copper plating

Copper is extensively used as the first layer in chrome plumbing coatings. It is a ductile and exceptionally bright and well-leveled deposit. Copper can be electrodeposited from an acidic or alkaline solution, depending on the substrate and desired properties.

CuMac Optima -Acid Copper  

CuMac Optima is our latest generation ultra-high leveling acid copper with exceptionally low current density brightness, perfect for complex shapes and deeply recessed parts. CuMac Optima is designed to work on both suitably prepared zamak and plastic substrates. It is a perfect solution for all chrome plumbing and sanitary parts.

Clepo SP - Alkaline Pyrophosphate Copper

Clepo SP is a cyanide-free pyrophosphate copper bath recommended for zamak (over a Metex S-1 strike deposit). Clepo SP produces bright, well-leveled copper deposits, which can be subsequently plated with bright acid copper or semi-bright and bright nickel.

Nickel electroplating

Designers can choose between our range of NiMac™ nickel solutions to achieve the desired appearance. Used as a single layer, NiMac coatings will exceed Service Condition 1 levels.

NiMac finishes scatter light, giving a softer metallic appearance. This micro-satin effect can be adjusted from a fine sheen to a heavier matte finish, depending on the design needs. Performance engineers can specify either single, duplex, or multilayer nickel systems.

In duplex coatings, the base layer is a sulfur-free 'semi-bright' deposit with excellent corrosion resistance. The bright or satin layer is then applied over this sulfur-free deposit. These coatings will meet or exceed Service Condition 2 requirements.

In multilayer deposits, the third layer is a microporous nickel coating over the bright or satin layer. This coating will meet and exceed Service Condition 3 requirements.

Chromium plating

We offer a full range of dark decorative chromium coatings, including smokey, mid-dark, and full-dark finishes. The solutions meet today’s demanding corrosion performance standards including Service Condition 2 ISO 1456 and ASTM B456. 

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