By Keith Nuthall
Demand for chromite could receive a boost from European Union (EU)-funded research that has used nanotechnology to help fix chrome finishes onto plastic materials to make auto parts look classy, while reducing vehicle weight.
The European Commission has released a report on the benefits of the Ecosam project, which is being followed up with studies into other ways of attaching metallic finishes to plastics.
This technology could be of increasing importance to an auto sector looking for ways to reduce vehicle weight without compromising design quality.Ê
Chrome has always been a key tool of automakers seeking this goal however its application to plastics has in the past involved the use of hexavalent chromium in the pre-treatment of the underlying polypropylene.
The chemical has been classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), and its use is restricted...