Every day we appreciate the beauty and wear resistance of decorative coatings in our kitchens and bathrooms. Chromium plate, whether with high lustre, bright or luxurious satin finishes provide an easy to clean, low maintenance surface that will continue to provide corrosion resistance in high humidity areas for many years.

Our versatile coatings can be applied to a wide range of metal and plastic substrates, such as zinc, nickel, copper, chrome and hex-chrome-free alternatives. Fashion finishes include antique/dark, bright, and satin options. PFOS-free mist suppressants and hexavalent chromium-free processes are among our environmentally compliant alternatives that provide high functionality and cost-effective solutions.

For MacDermid Enthone the key starts with correct preparation. Substrates which are commonly used in sanitary applications include plastic (ABS), brass and Zinc Based Die Castings (ZBDC or Zamak). Metal surfaces are cleaned and activated in Metex pre-treatment systems. For the plastic substrates MacuPlex provides the metallization and excellent adhesion required prior to copper and nickel electroplating.

  • Surface Preparation for cleaning and activating the substrate
  • Copper to provide an excellent base for subsequent electroplated deposits
  • Nickel for the desired bright or satin finish
  • Chromium provides the corrosion protection and final finish
  • Organic coatings as an alternative to bright chromium

Chromium Plating


Nothing captures today’s style and fashion like chromium. Elegant, timeless and enduring, chromium is an iconic finish.

Today MacDermid offer an exciting new range of darker decorative chromium coatings. These coatings include smokey, mid-dark and full-dark. They also meet today’s demanding corrosion performance standards including Service Condition 2. ISO 1456 and ASTM B456 refer to Service Condition 2 as "indoors where condensation may occur". All our range of chromium coatings exceed this requirement*. When you need style and performance, think and imagine...more from MacDermid.

* with the appropriate pre-treatment and copper / nickel layers as laid out in these specifications.

Nickel Electroplating

Designers can choose between our range of NiMac full bright and NiMac M-Satin nickel ranges to give them the desired appearance. Used as a single layer, NiMac coatings will exceed Service Condition 1 levels.

The NiMac M-Satin 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.



Chrome plated brass is the preferred substrate for faucets. Zamak is used to fabricate other components typically found in the bathroom and kitchen, for example fascia's and hinges. The brass or zamak is usually polished or vibratory finished to produce a smooth and bright finish. Any polishing residue must be removed in MacDermid Buff Off or Metex SU 486 soak or ultrasonic cleaners. Both metals are then degreased in a mildly alkaline cleaner such as Metex T103 to remove any residue oil and dirt before electrocleaning.

  • Brass is usually treated cathodically
  • Zamak is usually treated anodically

The electrocleaning stage ensures a water break free surface prior to acid activation. Metex S1751 can be used in either of these applications.

The final stage is acid activation. Metex M-629, is extensively approved for all metals in this application.


Plastics such as ABS are used for fittings such as shower facia and controls. This material requires the specialized MacuPlex Plating On Plastic pre-treatment system. New engineering plastics such as PEEK, Nylon and Ultem can also be metalized using the Surface Activation process. As these plastics are generally more durable than ABS, they offer the design engineer possibilities to replace metal substrates with plastic. In combination with the Surface Activation process, the finished component retains the important metallic 'feel'.

Copper Plating

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

Acid Copper - CuMac Optima

CuMac Optima is our latest generation ultra-high levelling acid copper with exceptional low current density brightness, perfect for complex shapes and deeply recessed parts. CuMac Optima is designed to work on both suitably prepared zamak or plastic substrates. Perfect for all chrome plumbing / 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 levelled copper deposits which can be subsequently plated with bright acid copper or semi-bright / bright nickel.

Metex S-1

Metex S-1 alkaline copper process provides a method of plating fine grain copper at a high rate of deposition, free from pitting and roughness, and with ease of control.