While the initial success of plating on plastic was achieved with ABS — in fact, ABS still comprises approximately 90 percent of all metal plating plastic applications.
effective techniques have been developed for plating on a wide range of plastic materials. Many of these materials are classified as thermoplastics, which means they become moldable when heated above a certain temperature, and then they solidify upon cooling. Examples of plastics that are amenable to electroplating include:
- Teflon: Brand name for a form of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) developed by the DuPont company primarily used in the manufacturing of non-stick cookware.
- Phenolic: Laminated plastic material used to manufacture a wide range of molded plastic products.
- Polycarbonate: General name for a group of strong, durable thermoplastic polymers commonly used in various automotive, aerospace, data storage and construction applications.
- Polysulfone: A group of thermoplastic polymers known for their strength, transparency and high service temperatures, polysulfones are frequently used as flame retardants, filtration media and dielectrics in capacitors.
- Polyoxymethylene (Polyacetal): This engineering thermoplastic is typically used in high-performance engineering applications for parts and components requiring low friction, high stiffness and superior dimensional stability.