Examples of electroplated plastic

INCERTEC routinely handles a wide variety of electroplated plastic and coatings on an equally broad spectrum of substrates. The process used will depend on your application but could include:

What Is Electroplated Plastic?

Electroplating plastic means moving the dissolved ions from a metal to a plastic component. By depositing the metal ions onto the plastic surface, the new part retains properties of both materials. The exterior of the part will act as a metal, while below the surface, plastic brings its own advantages.

Why Add a Metal Coating to Plastic?

Electroplated plastic provides a number of beneficial properties that overlap between those of plastic and those of a metal. These advantages include:

  • • Corrosion resistance
  • • Conductivity
  • • High hardness levels
  • • Protection against wear
  • • Increased reflectivity
  • • Aesthetic appeal of a metal
  • • Often lightweight

Another advantage is that once the plastic is electroplated, it can undergo further material processes, such as electroplating with an additional type of metal. For use cases that demand durability, this is critical.

How INCERTEC Electroplates Plastic

The plastic-electroplating process is slightly different from that of two metals. Adhesion between a plastic and metal is more difficult to accomplish, as conductivity is key in traditional electroplating. We overcome these challenges by implementing our own solutions:

Chromic Etching

In a traditional method to prepare ABS and ABS/PC for metalized plastics, the part is etched with a chromic acid solution and creates a surface ready for plating. INCERTEC’s state-of-the-art water treatment system overcomes any negative environmental impact and, in fact, we return water back to the environment cleaner than we received from the municipality.

Chromic Etching Operations: Minneapolis, MN and Empalme, Mexico

Surface Roughening

A mechanical technique to prepare the substrate, INCERTEC can precisely and selectively blast etch components to the proper profile to ensure effective nickel or copper plating on plastic.

Surface Roughening Operations: Minneapolis, MN and Empalme, Mexico

Find a Plastic Electroplating Solution

Ready to learn more? Get in touch with our team to receive a quick quote for your project.