Auto Makers Use This Technique for a Perfect Chrome Finish

Summary: Get the perfect chrome finish on tailpipes and engines with this technique.

Have you ever wondered how automakers are able to get such a perfect chrome finish on tailpipes and engine internals? Using a sputter coater enables manufacturers to get a shiny, even finish on parts. The end result has fewer wasted materials, and the product looks amazing every time. This fascinating process has been in use since the 1980s, and has brought many benefits to auto manufacturers.


One usage for PVD coating is known as “metallization,” which changes the property of one substance for those of another. In the case of plastic to metal, durability is significantly improved. Why use plastic in the first place? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a durable metal part?

Consider high-performance engines. The costs to maintain those engines, should those heavy metal parts break down, would put a huge burden on consumers. It’s cost-effective on both ends to use vacuum metallization to change the properties of plastic. Manufacturers spend less in materials, and waste less too, while consumers benefit from lower repair costs.


There is no denying that chrome tailpipes look amazing. That even coating wouldn’t be possible without some kind of uniform coating system, which requires precise temperatures and a vacuum-sealed chamber to function. To understand the difference, we need to look at the tailpipe at a molecular level.

The vacuum sealed chamber, and rotating tailpipe, allow for a few things to occur. First, the metal molecules, which had previously been converted to gas, bounce around the chamber and come to rest at the substrate (the tailpipe). Because the tailpipe is rotated evenly, the molecules smash onto the surface of the pipe uniformly. No defects, and perfect shine.

Bio: For more than 50 years, the team at Denton Vacuum, LLC has produced high-quality sputter deposition systems for use in a wide range of industrial manufacturing applications.

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