NEW ADVANCED ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY TECHNOLOGY AS SUBSITUTE FOR CURRENT DECORATIVE CHROME SOLUTIONS
Decorative chrome is a widely-used process with the main purpose of achieving the required colour and brightness established by end-users and also helping to prevent corrosion and scratching effects. In this sense, traditional chrome process uses electroplating technology, but it has a great number of disadvantages because it requires long steps and generates a high environmental impact since the use of hexavalent chromium. Alternatively, PVD processes are used as this technology is more flexible and allows to generate different colours, however, it has to cope with some challenges, which are the large costs and investment and poor properties mainly in terms of hardness and resistance to corrosion in comparison with those treated by electroplating. In this sense, NEWCHROM project aims to develop an advanced sol-gel based technology that allows making chrome processes more environmentally sustainable and versatile, being easy to apply and having a low-cost. In addition, other functionalities such as easy to clean and antibacterial will be also incorporated. The solutions developed will be applied and validated during the project for decorative chrome solutions in bath appliances.