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Plating of plastic automotive parts(for restorers)
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Plating on ABS Plastic Substrates (Decorative)



Decorative plating on plastic is achieved by a metallising process specifically engineered to enable non–conductive plastic articles to be electroplated.  Plating of ABS plastics components is quite common in the manufacture of modern goods and fittings.  Other types of plastics (and even other non metals) can also be plated in a customised approach we offer our custom and restoration markets.  See the restoration related pages for more information about plating other types of plastics.

Why ABS Plastic?

ABS is a specially designed plastic (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) with embedded properties that are suited to the metallising process enabling continuous production of high volumes of plated plastic components.


Moulded ABS plastic components are usually cheaper to manufacture than metal parts. They offer (usually) good strength properties.  Weight reduction (for vehicle parts in particlar) is seen as a major benefit of using ABS chrome plated parts. After plating there is no apparent difference visually between metal and plastic parts.

Colour & Aesthetics:

Almost all decorative finishes can be applied electrolytically to ABS plastic.


Automotive decals and trim, tapware, furniture trim, bathroom accessories, hardware and architectural accessories, some electrical fittings and many other items.

Design Cautions:

Electroplating onto ABS plastics is an electrolytic process aided by additional metallising properties in the pre-treatment of the material.  In the plating 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 (or A Class) prior to finalising design if you intend to incorporate this finishing process in your product manufacture.


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Copyright © 2009, A Class Metal Finishers Pty Ltd. 6 Waddikee Rd, Lonsdale, South Australia, 5160. Telephone (+ 61 8 8384 4331) Email:
Specialising in Copper, Nickel & Chrome Plating, Gold Plating, Silver Plating, Tin Plating, Electroless Nickel, Plating on Plastic (ABS) and Metal Polishing

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