Plating on Plastics - Exterior Trim Part Properties
Chrome plated automotive exterior parts continue to be popular. A good understanding of the properties of the unplated and plated parts is required to have the lowest cost successful design. In this work, traditional mechanical properties are compared between plated and unplated ABS and ABS+PC grades of plastic. Additional findings are shared for the thermal growth properties that are important to the designer who is trying to minimize gaps to adjacent components and for the engineer who wants the plated parts to resist cracking or peeling. Finally, some bend testing results are reviewed to understand better the susceptibility of the chrome plated plastics to crack when bent. In total, these results will help the exterior trim part designers optimize for cost, fit and finish.