Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Polishing metal

  1. Feb 4, 2008 #1
    Which metallic material will have a maintenance free shine when polished? I want to machine auto emblems so i'm looking for a material that does not go dull when expose to the elements.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    For my money, good ol' nickel-chrome would be the choice.
  4. Feb 5, 2008 #3
    is it an expensive process?
  5. Feb 5, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    We jut had some spindles chromed for about $10 a piece. You have to shop around a bit, but it is not an expensive process.
  6. Feb 5, 2008 #5
    I'd vote for german silver (or nickel silver). There's not really any silver in it. It's what most clarinet keys are made of, for example. Anything that keeps its shine in the presence of spit should work OK.
  7. Feb 5, 2008 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    What is the environment? pH and chloride/NaCl content can undermine chrome or Ni-chrome if sufficient iron is present.

    Metals will ultimately oxidize in air, particularly moist air. Chromium forms a protective oxide and that's what gives stainless steels their shiny appearance. Chrome plating is oneway.

    Perhaps one of the best stainless steels for an environment with chlorides, is Allegheny-Ludlum's, AL-6X (AL-6XN) and a similar one 254SMO. Both have 6% Mo.


    http://www.oceanint.com/content3/materials/6moly.asp [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  8. Feb 5, 2008 #7


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Good points, TVP45 and Astro. Since David specified 'auto emblems', I assumed a normal road environment. One should never assume. I'm ashamed to admit that after 30+ years as a locksmith, I didn't realize that there's no real silver in 'nickel-silver'. That's what most keys are coated with (over brass). I didn't mention it because I thought that the (non-existent) silver content would make it too expensive. It does have a tendency to peel if an edge becomes exposed, but so does chrome.
  9. Feb 5, 2008 #8
    The trim work on the pre-war Hispano-Suizas were solid nickel-silver
    as was the radiator on one of the Bugattis (now there's a comeback for the people that think radiators have to be flat black). One of the interesting things about aging is how much completely useless information I know so well and yet I can't remember the day of the week.
  10. Feb 5, 2008 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well, you might be ancient, but look on the bright side... Integral is the sum of all ages on PF. I'm sure that there's something in my great great great grandfather's journals about having a beer with him once.
  11. Feb 5, 2008 #10
    I'm not that ancient - I just burned the candle at both ends for too darn many decades.
  12. Feb 5, 2008 #11


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Slacker! Mine was lit in the middle as well. :tongue:
  13. Feb 12, 2008 #12
    what about good ol' stainless, perhaps one of the better grades. The trim onmy 57 Chev has a lot of stainless, been good for years

    Stay Hep
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook