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Plating on Plastics 101- History, Types & Benefits

Author: Rahul Suri
by Rahul Suri
Posted: Jun 07, 2020

This article reflects upon Plating on Plastics 101- History, Types & Benefits. There are various benefits of plating on plastics and it can be used for a variety of applications.

Plating on plastics can be extremely effective and can be used for a wide range of industrial applications. Applying a metal coating on plastics is a high precision process that can be customized for different purposes. Plating on metals is simpler as compared to plating on plastics. Plating on plastics is a highly specialized procedure as it is difficult to form a strong bond between the plastic substrate and metallic coating to achieve the desired results.


Commercial plastic plating dates back to 1960 when commercial Plating on plastics started in North America and Europe. Earlier, this process did not gain much acceptance as it was very complex and specialized. But eventually, with the advent of technology, the adhesive properties of plastics gained enhancement. The automotive industry was foremost in implementing plating on plastic on a large scale. Famous car companies discovered that using lighter metal-coated plastic materials in the production of automotive parts like grilles, emblems, etc. helped to improve the mileage. Other applications of plating on plastics became that became popular during the 1970s and 1980s included- plumbing fixtures, buttons on clothing, and other household products.

Types of plastics used for plastic plating

ABS is the most common type of material used for plastic plating. It is used for many applications. Other types of materials used for plastic plating applications are Phenolic, Urea-formaldehyde, Polyethersulfone, Polyacetal, Diallyl phthalate, Polyetherimide, Teflon, Polyarylether, Polycarbonate, Polyphenylene oxide, Mineral-reinforced nylon, Polysulfone. Various plastics cannot be used for plating. As a rule, the higher the chemical resistance of the resin, the more difficult it is to plate.

Types of Plating on Plastics

Electroless plating on plastic can further be broken down into two different categories: all-over plating and selective plating.

All-over Plating: Here, the metal is deposited over the entire surface of the plastic substrate at a thickness ranging from 40 micro-inches (1 µm) to 2,000 micro-inches or 0.002" (50 µm). All-over plating is considered to be the most cost-effective form of plating on plastic.

Selective plating: It includes depositing the metal onto specific surfaces of the plastic part or component, as opposed to the entire object. Selective plating can achieve a thickness level ranging from 40 micro-inches (1 µm) to 400 micro-inches or 0.0004? (10 µm).

Generally, copper plating on plastic is a common industrial practice, especially for applications where electrical conductivity is required. Other types of plating on plastics include chromium, gold, silver, and nickel.

Benefits of Plating on Plastics:

    1. Aesthetics: Metal plating on the plastic surface offer it the glaze and polish that brightens its appearance. It also adds a touch of color and makes it highly aesthetic in appeal.

    2. Enhance Resistance to corrosion

    3. Strength

    4. Durability

    5. Resistance to certain types of chemicals

    6. Plated plastics are used in various manufacturing processes

    7. Electroplating on plastic is used for adding thickness when required

    8. Electroless plating can be done to offer an underlying layer for an electroplated coating.

Conclusion: Plating on plastics typically provides greater corrosion resistance, increased durability, and enhanced protection against abrasion. Plating on plastics is the preferred choice for heavy-duty industrial applications.

Resource Box: If you are looking for plastic plating, you should get it done from a famous plastic plating company in India like Growel’s to get the most effective plating on plastics by experts and at the most competitive prices. Famous plating companies in India like Growel’s can do both nickel and copper plating on plastics in a wide range of industries including automotive, consumer electronics, clothing manufacturing, and many more. Famous companies can offer you customized plating on plastics depending upon your need and suitability.

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Author: Rahul Suri

Rahul Suri

Member since: Jul 22, 2015
Published articles: 44

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