What are Electroplated Snap-Caps?
Electroplated Snap-Caps are a high-quality metal-finish version of Snap-Caps. They are ideal for concealing fixings on metal, chrome & anodised fittings such as window or shower frames and other highly polished surfaces such as mirrors, plaques & signs. Satin Chrome finish Snap-Caps look fantastic on satin or "brushed" metal surfaces.
Electroplated Snap-Caps have a finish that is hard-wearing, long-lasting and resistant to most household cleansers.
Available in Cap sizes 6/8 and 10/12.
Electroplated caps can be used with both CSK and F/B washers or with Mirror Grommets for above-surface mounting of mirrors.
Use Polished Chrome Snap-Caps on: bathrooms (on mirrors, showerscreens and fittings), polished aluminium & stainless kitchen & shop fittings, signs and POS displays, vehicle trims & number-plates, marine fittings, IT installations
Use Satin Chrome Snap-Caps on: brushed or satin aluminium or stainless steel fittings, marine fittings, IT installations, signs and POS displays
Use Polished Gold Snap-Caps on: plaques, signs and POS displays, shopfitting, coffin furniture
How to use Electroplated Snap-Caps
The fixing is secured through the washer into the workpiece. The cap is then "snapped" over the washer, mating by means of an interlocking peripheral groove and flange. This provides an airtight and seal that excludes atmosphere and protects the fastener head from rust and corrosion.
What is "electroplating"?
You may remember science experiments from school where you copper-plated a nail by passing an electrical current through a copper sulphate solution. This is a very basic form of electroplating. Snap-Caps are electroplated using a similar (but much more complex) principle.
Electroplating of plastics is a very specialised industry and there are only a handful of companies around the world with the necessary expertise - so we send our caps off to one of these specialists to electroplate them for us.
Firstly, the caps are moulded in a special grade of ABS plastic, which is the only plastic that can accept the process. The caps are mounted on special racks, which allow electricity to be conducted through the caps, then passed through 20 or more baths where the metal is slowly built up over the plastic until the final high quality finish is attained. Between each phase of the process, caps are rinsed in clean water. Each cap is then washed and individually checked for quality.
It may surprise you to learn that these days, all car badges and many bathroom fittings are electroplated plastic, and are made using exactly the same process as on our caps. This assures a durable, hard-wearing and long-lasting finish suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. While it is resistant to most household cleaners, you should not use scouring cleaners that may scratch the surface, or use on applications exposed to temperatures above 120°C.
Why are Electroplated Snap-Caps so pricey?
The electroplating process requires a number of metal compounds to be disolved in the carrier solution for the process to work. These metals are expensive. In fact, the Gold electroplating uses 18 and 24 carat gold!
All the baths used must be disposed of after the solution has been used up - an expensive cost, as is the treatment of rinse water before it can be released into the sewage system (and eventually the ocean).
There is also a high labour cost as caps must be attached to metal racks which transfer an electrical current through the caps. After the electroplating process is complete, all caps are removed from the racks and then individually checked for quality.
The net result is that electroplating (especially of plastics), is a fairly expensive process. Just as with a replacement badge for your car, or a new mixer-tap for your shower, there is a price for a quality metal finish, which is resistant to most household cleaning produts and which you fully expect will last for many years.
What about the cheaper "metallised" caps available elsewhere?
Although they may look similar to Electroplated Snap-Caps, the much cheaper "metallised" caps sold by other UK Suppliers, are essentially just a painted silver or gold coating.
"Metallised" caps can often be spotted by the exposed plastic (usually White or Brown) inside the cap. Genuine electroplated Snap-Caps can be differentiated from "metallised" caps as they have the plating finish on the inside of the cap as well as on the outside surface.
These inferior coatings can be removed by many 'everyday' household cleaning products, leaving more silver or gold on the cleaning cloth than on the cap! On other caps, temperature changes will cause the coating to separate from the plastic, resulting in the coating peeling or flaking off. Let's face it, if 'metallised' finishes were even a fraction as good as fully electroplated finishes, the process would be used by manufacturers of low-end vehicles and bathroom fittings.
Pro-Dec do not manufacture, sell or recommend the use of "Metallised" caps - Use only genuine Electroplated Snap-Caps.
Snap-Caps are manufactured in ABS polymer and then fully electroplated to Best Practice standards.
What types of fixings will work with Snap-Caps?
This table indicates some of the different types and sizes of fixings that can be used with Snap-Caps. It is by no means definitive, and there are numerous examples of imported fixings that are sized differently enough to not fit. If you have any additions to this table, or disagree with any information, please contact our Technical Department.
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Thank you for your interest in Electroplated Snap-Caps.
Trade Prices are from:
|Size 6/8 Electroplated Snap-Caps
|Size 10/12 Electroplated Snap-Caps
|Bag - 100 pcs
|Bag - 250 pcs
|Bag - 500 pcs
|Bag - 1,000 pcs
|Bag - 100 pcs
|Bag - 250 pcs
|Bag - 500 pcs
|Bag - 1,000 pcs
*** To order quantities of less than shown above, please contact one of our Re-Sellers.
10% OFF - Order £150 or more Product Value (excludes VAT, and can be made up from any mix of our products & colours)
15% OFF - Order £300 or more Product Value (excludes VAT, and can be made up from any mix of our products & colours)
1 At least 10% Discount will be applied to your total order when purchasing any of these items
2 A 15% Discount will be applied to your total order when purchasing any of these items
With so many types of caps and colours to choose from, our priority is to ensure you order the right product, size and colour for your application. Please call our experienced UK Sales Team on 0845 1 776 332, and we will quickly guide you through the possible choices you have available. You can then be confident you are ordering the type of cap that best fits your needs, and a colour to best suit your application.
Difficulty "snapping" the Cap onto the Washer
Snap-Caps are designed and moulded to very fine tolerances. The Cap & Washer interock together with a perfect air and watertight seal, protecting the head of the fixing against rusting for many years. This also results in a very secure Cap that resists tampering.
A plastic Snap-Cap relies on both the Cap and the Washer distorting as the Cap is pressed into place. Because the Electroplated Cap is coated in a metal finish and is very rigid, joining the Cap over the Washer relies completely on the the plastic of the Washer distorting as the cap locks over the washer. Even in ideal conditions, this may require greater-than-normal pressure to lock the cap into place.
The Fix: There are a few things which may make it easier to apply the caps....
- Before using, simply warm the caps and the plastic washers in an 'inside' pocket (ie close to your body), or in an oven or similar warming device to a maximum of 100°C. Fit the fixing through the Washer, then fit the Electroplated cap - BEFORE either part cools down.
- Use the smallest fixing for the size Snap-Cap (ie use a 6gge (M3.5) screw in the 6/8 Snap-Caps or a 10gge (M5) with the 10/12 Snap-Caps. This allows more room for the plastic of the Washer to flex.
- Ensure you are using the correct technique to fit the Cap to the Washer. Click diagram for details
Do NOT hit Caps with a hammer (or similar) - it will cause the Caps to split
Working in Winter - Using Plastic Caps in Cold Weather
A plastic Snap-Cap relies on both the Cap and the Washer distorting as the Cap is pressed into place. Because the Electroplated Cap is coated in a metal finish and is very rigid, joining the Cap over the Washer relies completely on the the plastic of the Washer distorting as the cap locks over the washer.
As the plastic become colder, it stiffens and does not flex as much; with Electroplated Caps this can make it quite difficult to apply the Caps. This effect can be noticable anytime the plastic is below 15°C.
The Fix: Before using, simply warm the caps in an 'inside' pocket (ie close to your body), or in an oven or similar warming device to a maximum of 100°C. Fit the fixing through the Washer, then fit the Electroplated cap - BEFORE either part cools down. Once fitted, Elctroplated Snap-Caps can endure temperatures from -35°C to 120°C without problems. The durable Electroplated finish ensures they can be used both indoors and outdoors for many years, and is resistant to most household and commercial cleaning products.
See "Difficulty "snapping" the Cap onto the Washer" (above) for other ideas to make fitting the caps easier.