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Plating on plastic material

Plating on plastic material

Plating on plastic material

I'm working on the design of a nylon part that would need to have a "chrome plating" look.  I've already tried vacuum plating and it gives a nice finish.  However, I realize that it is very brittle (quite easy to remove).  So I would like to know :
a) Is there other process used to make chrome plating finish on plastic part?
b) Is there a way to improve the toughness of this plating?
c) ...

Any information would be very helpful.


RE: Plating on plastic material

We use a dip of some kind - I'm not sure of all the details.  It is either an electroplating type set up or a dip that is baked on or a combination.  If you don't have a place to use, we use Feriot Inc. in North Canton, OH (ph. (330) 497-7888).

RE: Plating on plastic material

Have you considered hot stamping with chrome foil?

 The limitations of hot stamping include the surface area you are covering and long range durability goals. let me know and I can give you more information.

RE: Plating on plastic material

You might like to consider arc evaporation on top of your chrome coat (this is another vacuum plating technique) it is very tough and is used to deposit decorative coatings on a wide range of plastics, including external automotive and marine parts, so it stands up to the elements pretty well. If this is of interest I can give you some contacts to try.

RE: Plating on plastic material

I just read vacuumsage's reply, and I would like to have some contacts since I an immediate application that would require good resistance to the elements.

RE: Plating on plastic material

There are a few (very few) chrome paints available (http://www.holtsauto.com/products/index.html. I remember a recent ad in Ceramic Bulletin on a new one
(I don't recall the name).

Vacuum deposited metals can be improved in their integrity a great deal through an audit of the process. The deposition should have:

-Optimum activation of the plastic, and
-Optimum deposition parameters.

I have seen many processes where the deposition is adequate but far from optimum.

Can you use an alternative to chrome (e. g., nickel)?

RE: Plating on plastic material

Check out www.segroupinc.net for a company called "the surface engineering group" they specialise in arc deposition, and can coat parts for trials and production, and can also build any size system for you should you wish to make your own coatings. They are a small company, but have many years of arc evaporation experience. Call or email Shannon Bosak there, who will be only too happyb to help you.

I am not him by the way, but I have worked this company, and am simply recommending them, not plugging my own company.

I believe arc evaporated materials can be deposited on top of nickel also, so maybe that can make things easier for you too.

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