Hara, T., Kato, M., and Mizutani, K., "Development of the All-Surface Plated Smart Handle Through In-Vapor Deposition Technology," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 9(3):839-843, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0543.
There are such outside door handles called smart handles which have a transmitting antenna, a lock/unlock sensor, and a sensor detection circuit, with which operation of door lock is possible just by "touching" the electrostatic-capacitance type sensor of the handles.As the design of the outside handles, body color painting and Cr plating are adopted. However, if plating is applied over the entire surface of a smart handle, electromagnetic waves transmitted from the antenna will be blocked since plating material is electrically conductive. In addition to this, touching a part other than the sensor may change the electrostatic-capacitance of the sensor, which results in unwanted functioning of the lock/unlock sensor. Because of this, only part of the handle, which does not hinder the transmission of electromagnetic waves and does not cause unwanted functioning, is covered by plating, that is called, "Partially plated specifications" (Figure 1).Figure 1Mechanism of unwanted functioningHowever, there is a strong demand for plating of the entire surface in Asia and North America, and we are receiving such requests from our customers.