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Subject: Chrome


From: George Bailey <george_bailey>
Date: Saturday, January 23, 1999
Christine Ullrich asked "What composes the metal chrome? How can we
clean and preserve an artifact made of chrome?"

Chrome is a  layer of Chromium metal that is usually plated onto
steel (and sometimes other metal) objects to provide corrosion
protection and/or an aesthetic appearance. On steel objects there is
usually a layer of copper plating, and sometimes nickel as well,
between the steel and the chrome. This helps to stop the chrome from
peeling off.

Chrome plating is usually fairly hard. To clean it I would first
recommend wiping it with a detergent solution. If it is badly
scratched or corroded then there are "Chrome Polishes" available.
Try your local car parts supplier. Bear in mind, though, that
polishing will remove metal, so there are ethical issues to

George Bailey
Objects Conservator
Australian War Memorial
Treloar Centre for Conservation
4 Callan St, Mitchell, A.C.T. 2911
+61-2-6243 4440
Fax: +61-2-6241 7998

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:61
                Distributed: Wednesday, January 27, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-61-005
Received on Saturday, 23 January, 1999

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