Nickel plating is similar to stainless steel in color. Nickel can be deposited soft or hard, and dull or bright, depending on the process used. Nickel plate is often applied over copper and under chromium for a decorative finish. Bright nickel plating is a highly reflective finish, which often eliminates the need for subsequent polishing. Bright nickel is a very hard metal with relatively poor ductility: consequently, parts to be bright nickel plated should be bent into final shape before plating whenever possible. Semi-bright or dull nickel has a more satiny finish than bright nickel and may be marginally more ductile. If heat shock or minor bending of the parts is anticipated it would be better to specify semi-bright or dull nickel in order to reduce the risk of the plating flaking off.