Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Northwood, Derek (Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering)


Materials Science.




This research involved an investigation to find an alternative technology to chrome plating. The proposed system used a plastics substrate, a metalized layer, and a protective top-coat. The interfaces between the layers are the challenges and thus various experiments are conducted to examine the different possibilities for each layer and find the most suitable combination for the system meeting the appearance and functional requirements. Various studies, using different techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and profilometery have been presented to examine different failure modes and identify the root cause of the failures. This analysis was used to improve the system in the subsequent iterations. Two systems were developed. System "A" consists of polycarbonate, a stainless steel metalized layer, and a silicone based top-coat. System "B" consists of polycarbonate, a stainless steel metalized layer, an aluminum metalized layer and a silicone based top-coat.