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Significance and Use
A variety of metals can be electrodeposited on plastics for decorative or engineering purposes. The most widely used coating consists of three layers—copper plus nickel plus chromium—for decorative applications. However, brass, silver, tin, lead, cadmium, zinc, gold, other metals, and combinations of these are used for special purposes. The key to producing electroplated plastics of high quality lies in the care taken in preparing plastics for electroplating. The information contained in this practice is useful in controlling processes for the preparation of plastics for electroplating.
1.1 This practice is a guide to the surface preparation of plastic materials for decorative and functional electroplating, where the sequence of chemical treatments may include: cleaning, conditioning, etching, neutralizing, catalyzing, accelerating, and autocatalytic metal deposition. Surface preparation also includes electrodeposition of metallic strike coatings immediately after autocatalytic metal deposition. These treatments result in the deposition of thin conductive metal films on the surface of molded-plastic materials, and are described in this practice.
1.2 Once molded-plastics materials have been made conductive, they may be electroplated with a metal or combination of metals in conventional electroplating solutions. The electroplating solutions and their use are beyond the scope of this practice.
1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.
1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. (See Section 4.)
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
B532 Specification for Appearance of Electroplated Plastic Surfaces
B533 Test Method for Peel Strength of Metal Electroplated Plastics
B553 Test Method for Thermal Cycling of Electroplated Plastics
B604 Specification for Decorative Electroplated Coatings of Copper Plus Nickel Plus Chromium on Plastics
ICS Number Code 25.220.10 (Surface preparation)