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Plating on ABS Plastic Substrates

Supplier: A Class Metal Finishers

Decorative plating on plastic is achieved by a metallising process specifically engineered to enable non-conductive plastic articles to be electroplated. Our process has been developed to plate ABS plating grade plastic and some ABS blends.


Why ABS Plastic? ABS is a specially designed plastic (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) with properties suited to the metallising process enabling continuous production of high volume components.

Benefits of Plating on ABS Plastic Substrates: Moulded ABS plastic components are substantially cheaper to manufacture than metal parts. They offer adequate strength and significant weight reduction is also a benefit in some instances. After plating there is no apparent difference visually between metal and plastic parts.

Colour & Aesthetics: Almost all of our decorative finishes can be applied to ABS plastic with the current exception of E-coat.

Applications of Plating on ABS Plastic Substrates: Automotive decals and trim, tap- ware, furniture trim, bathroom accessories, hardware accessories, some electrical fittings and many other items.

Design Cautions: As this is an electrolytic process it is necessary to use jigging, racking or wiring to provide for electrical current conductivity. Some shapes and designs lend themselves more readily to successful plating than others or may need to be adapted.

Unlike metal substrates, distortion of plastic parts can occur in some heated solutions therefore part design as well as rack design can be critical. Stresses and other moulding related faults can also affect plating results.

Please consult your plating adviser prior to finalising design if you intend using this finishing process in your product manufacture.