With characteristics of light weight, easy molding and beautiful appearance of metal coating, plastic electroplating products are widely used in the production of automobiles, motorcycles, household appliance parts and plumbing equipments. In some certain extent, plastic electroplating technology cannot only take place of valuable non-ferrous metals, but also save time, simply the process, improve the appearance of parts, raise labor productivity, reduce product weight and cut down the product cost. Many technicians working for plastic injection think that the electroplating technology can cover the defects of plastic injection. Conversely, it makes the defects stand out. Getting good quality electroplating products, just reply on the electroplating process to overcome the problems is useless. What we need to do is to combine these two processes together and pay attention to the following factors:
1. Mold Design
The mold should be designed in accordance with the electroplating requirements, so as to gain good electroplating effect on molds.
2. Plastic Materials for Electroplating
For being easy to be pretreated and electroplated, ABS or ABS+PC is the common plastic materials which used for electroplating.
3. Plastic Injection Conditions
Because of the inappropriate plastic injection conditions, many problems like skipping plating and bad layer adhesion will be produced, however, it is difficult to solve problems only rely on the electroplating process.
(1) Plastic Parts Check
When receiving the plastic parts, check them carefully with the following ways:
Are there any defects of appearance? Are there racks for plating? Are there inner stresses on the plastic parts? Are they easy to be deformed?
(2)Design of Plating Racks
The design of plating racks is very important for plastic plating. The shape of the plastic part cannot be changed and try to keep the thickness be uniform.
(3) Inner Stress Test for Plastic Parts
Normally we test the inner stress through soaking the plastic parts into the glacial acetic acid.
(4) Remove the Inner Stress
Inner stress cannot be avoided when molding the plastic parts. It is better to remove it as far as possible before plating.
Roughening and electroless nickel plating are the most important parts for electroplating pretreatment and for different plastics have different ways. The type and thickness of layer should be determined according to the specific requirements of different parts. I.M.T. has a range of plastic electroplating products.
(6) Test of Plated Parts
According to different requirement of customers, the plated parts should be tested with the following normal tests: thermo cycling test, thermal shock test, salt spray test, and thickness test.
For more information about I.M.T. plating products on plastic, please refer to our ABS plastic plating process.