Plating on Plastics (POP) is the technology associated with metallizing a plastic substrate for decorative and functional applications.
POP was invented in the 1850s and commercialized in the 1930s; however, it did not gain wide spread popularity until the 1970s as the automotive industry in North America struggled to increase fuel efficiencies through the elimination of heavy solid metal parts in favor of lighter plastic items.
Since then, POP has become an essential technology integral to many industries such as Automotive, Aerospace, Electronics, Plumbing and Sanitary Fittings, Home Appliances and Consumer Items.
The automotive industry has been at the forefront in POP technical and design developments and today many parts, such as bumpers, emblems, radiator grills, door handles and most of the internal “trim” of an automobile are POP. This technology allows the use of lower cost, lower weight injection molded plastic parts, and provides engineers freedom of design to shape parts in ways not possible in the past. Furthermore, increased fuel efficiencies due to lower weight reduce the environmental footprint of car ownership and reduce overall lifetime running costs.
Plating on Plastics electroplating technology has evolved significantly over the last 25 years to provide better functionality (e.g. adhesion, shock resistance, corrosion resistance) and more attractive fashion finishes (e.g. satin and colored finishes such as black). The process technology has also evolved to provide a lower cost of ownership by increasing process speed, reducing chemical usage, eliminating steps and reducing dependence on environmentally questionable chemicals.
Okuno-Auromex has been at the forefront of these developments in both Conventional Colloid and Direct Plate Technologies that feature environmentally friendly hex-chrome-free, lead-free, cobalt-free, boric-free and PFOS-free solutions. These processes meet global standards, such as WEEE, RoHS, REACH, and ELV, and have been specified by major global OEMs.
For further information, including a comparison of Conventional and Direct POP plating on plastics, please follow the links below: