WHAT IS PLATING ON PLASTIC?
US POP Market Revenue by Plating, 2014 - 2025(USD Million)
Types of Plastic for Electroplating
- Polycarbonate: A strong and durable thermoplastic commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, and construction applications.
ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene): ABS is a low-cost engineering plastic that is easy to machine and fabricate. ABS is an ideal material for structural applications when impact resistance, strength, and stiffness are required. It is widely used for machining pre-production prototypes since it has excellent dimensional stability and is easy to paint and glue.
ABS/PC: (PC+ABS) blends that exhibit an excellent balance of properties, most notably high toughness – even at cold temperatures –, rigidity, dimensional stability, excellent creep resistance, low moisture absorption and good heat resistance.
- Polysulfone: A thermoplastic polymer known for its transparency, strength, and ability to withstand high heats. Can be seen in many industrial applications where flame retardant plastic is preferred.
- PP: Has a greater degree of crystallinity, making PP stiffer and more resistant to creep (the tendency to flow under stress) as compared to polyethylene (PE) PP is resilient and resistant to fatigue; highly resistant to most acids and alkalis; resistant to most organic solvents below 176°F (80°C); can be subjected to steam sterilization
Nylon: Nylon is one of the most widely used engineering thermoplastics. It offers an excellent combination of mechanical performance and cost. There are many nylon grades available today, the most common being nylon 6/6 and nylon 6. The properties of both nylon products are very similar; and typically, they can be used interchangeably.
Best Metals to Plate on Substrates
- Copper: Well known for its electrical conductivity, copper is a great choice for plating non conductive substrates. A huge benefit to copper plating on plastic is its relatively low cost, especially when compared to other precious metals.
- Gold: The #1 reason for gold plating is appearance, but it also offers a number of added benefits. Gold plating on plastic can withstand corrosion and is a good conductor of electricity. Golds heat shielding properties make it an easy choice for high temperature applications.
- Nickel: Due to nickels bright and shiny appearance, it can serve as a durable, and less toxic, substitute for chrome on plated automotive parts. Alloying nickel with other metals such as tungsten or tin can enhance its corrosion resistance properties.
- Chrome: Providing a smooth and polished chrome finish with good corrosion resistance, chrome is commonly used as a decretive plating on plastic method in the automotive industry.