Galvanizing of plastics or Plating on Plastic (POP) is a relatively new technology. Plating of thin and adhering galvanic deposits on plastic substrates is possible only since approximately 1960. The conventional POP technology is based on ABS and ABS-PC blends. ABS is a so called co-polymer of Acrylonitril Butadiene Styrene. The composition is approximately 5 to 30% butadiene, styrene approximately 50%, the rest is acrylonitril . Butadiene is the substance which forms -mixed with a little bit of carbon and sulfur- the base for rubber. The two other substances create a firm material. The butadiene, in the form of microscopic spheres, is mixed in the ABS matrix. By means of a strong oxidizing agent, small cavities are created in the surface of the ABS, by etching out the soft butadiene spheres. The remaining (hard) material is attacked at a much lower rate. Which remains is a smooth surface with microscopic cavities and polar groups attached to the hard plastic.
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