Plating on Plastics (POP) Market Report

Plating on Plastics (POP) Market Analysis, By Plating (Chrome, Nickel), By Plastic (ABS, ABS/PC, PEI, PBT, LCP, PEEK, PP, Nylon/Polyamide), By Application (Automotive, Construction, Utilities, Electronics) And Segment Forecasts, 2014 - 2025

Published: May 2017  |  110 Pages  |  Format: PDF  |  Report ID: GVR-1-68038-930-2

Industry Insights

The global plating on plastics (POP) market size was estimated at USD 411.6 million in 2016. Increasing demand for lightweight metal substitutes in the automotive and electronics industries are expected to be key driving factors in the market. In addition, growing consumer awareness towards the environmental benefits such as reduction in CO2 emissions coupled with performance efficiency offered by light weight commercial vehicles is expected to propel the demand over the forecast period. 

Plating on plastics refers to electroplating the plastic surface with metals such as nickel, chrome, electro-less nickel, copper, cobalt phosphorous, gold, silver and others. This process offers several functional as well as decorative benefits to the finished product. The process provides an excellent surface quality along with additional benefits such as flexibility, toughness and lightness to the substrate.

U.S. POP market revenue by plating, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million)

U.S. POP Market

The plating process involving gold and silver also enhances the overall aesthetic appearance of the finished material. Moreover, it also improves the corrosion and abrasion resistance of the plastic substrate as well as strengthens it. The metal coating process also increases the resistance against specific set of chemicals which are used during the manufacturing process.

The manufacturing process involves three major steps; molding, preplating and electroplating. Firstly, in molding process the parts are converted into the desired component, while  in next step, the molded part is given an electroless bath. In the last step, the additional metal is plated onto the surface.

The overall industry has witnessed several advancements in the eletctroplating technology, which has improved the overall quality of the finished product. Double layer nickel systems comprising a semi-bright underneath layer with bright nickel topcoat has been developed, in order to improve the corrosion resistance capability. Another significant advancement is the development of micro discontinuous chromium system, which improves the corrosion resistance of deposits of nickel and chromium during the metallization process.

However, rising stringency in the regulations governming regulations may severley impact the overall market growth. The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) has banned the usage of heaxavalent chromium in POP industry. Furthermore, stringent regulations set by EPA and OSHA are expected to hamper overall growth in upcoming years.

Plating Type Insights 

Chrome plating is the most commonly used metal for coating applications. Though, hexavalent chromium is banned by REACH in EU, trivalent chrome is used extensively as it is environment friendly.  It is commonly used to plate arm rest, fiberglass pipes, grills, and various motorbike parts.  It provides good surface finish, aesthetic appeal and rust resistance to the substrate.

Nickel has also gained considerable popularity in the automotive manufacturing industry for decorative purposes. It is used to enhance the overall appearance of exterior as well as interior parts of the automotive, which include gear shift knobs, bumpers, emblems, grilles, door handles, wheels and light bezels. In several instances, an alloy of chromium and nickel is used in replacement of pure nickel.

Masking the resin with nickel offers several functional benefits also. It improves the corrosion and wear resistance of the plastic substrate coupled with enhancing its lubricity. Copper has also gained considerable significance in coating large plastic components owing to its higher conductivity. Copper strengthens and protects the substrate making it electrically conducive. It is cheaper as compared to palladium, gold and silver plating and provides metallic shine to the surface improving the product aesthetically.

Plastic Type Insights 

Acrylonitrile-Butadiene styrene (ABS) is the most widely accepted in the global market. It has an acrylonitrile-styrene matrix which has butadiene rubber evenly distributed on it. This unique property makes its plating effective. The butadiene is etched out from the matrix which leave microscopic holes that are utilized as bonding sites by the plate. Cheaper costs, ease of molding, high metallic adhesion and low coefficient of thermal expansion are major drivers of ABS product segment.

ABS/PC is expected to witness the fastest CAGR of 8.6% during 2017 to 2025. The blend consists of 40% to 60% content of ABS, while the remaining blend contains PC. The blend offers high strength and ductility and is capable of being used in extreme temperatures. The development of phosphorous flame retardant PC/ABS has resolved the toxic emissions created while combusting halogen flame retardants.

Application Insights 

The automotive industry in North America and Europe was the pioneer to implement nickel and chromium coating on plastic resins on a commercial level. Properties such as lower cost, weight reduction and aesthetic designs enabled huge applications across the automotive industry. It is widely used in window trims, interior trim, mirror housings, auxiliary lamps, radiator grills, name badges and front and rear lamps.

Global POP market revenue by application, 2016 (%)

Global POP Market

Electronics is another key application segment. Copper is the most widely preferred metal in electronics industry. Decorative applications of nickel and nickel/chromium masking are used to improve the aesthetic appearance of plastic trims on computers, mobile phones, knobs, buttons and switches in electronic goods. 

Utility applications include sink wastes, bathroom accessories, shower fittings, wash basin taps and kitchen accessories. The market is attaining popularity in the plumbing industry on account of several advantages offered by metal to the plastic substrate such as protection from water and rust. Bathroom fittings are exposed to extreme temperatures which leads to wear & tear of the plastic fittings. All these factors are likely to drive the overall demand in utility application segment.

Regional Insights

Europe dominated the overall market in terms of revenue followed by North America. Europe is majorly driven by automotive industry in UK and Germany. Chrome finished automotive have attained considerable popularity in Europe and North America. The region is witnessing rising environmental regulations which has led higher demand for lighter aerodynamic cars. Auto giants such as BMW, Volvo, Volkwagen, Diamer AG and others are likely to drive the demand for the overall market in future. 

Asia Pacific is expected to register the fastest CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period. Growing automotive and electronics manufacturing industries in China, India and Japan are expected to drive the growth over coming years. The component and equipment capabilities are advancing in this region due to rapidly developing industrial infrastructure, thereby, creating lucrative opportunities for growth by 2025.

Competitive Insights

The market is highly competitive and fairly fragmented. Key players are investing into developing newer technologies coupled with acquisitions of chemical manufacturers. Major players include Atotech, Galva Decoparts Pvt. Ltd., Dow Chemicals and Cybershield Inc. Application development and customized products are expected to be key parameters to achieve sustainable growth in this market. Frequent mergers and acquisitions being undertaken as an attempt to diversify product portfolio and gain considerable share. 

Report Scope 

Attribute

Details

Base year for estimation

2016

Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2016

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation                                                

Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Germany, UK, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia

Report coverage             

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

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Segments covered in the report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global plating on plastics market on the basis of plating type, plastic type, application and region: 

  • Plating Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Chrome

    • Nickel

    • Others

  • Plastic Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • ABS

    • ABS/PC

    • PEI

    • PBT

    • LCP

    • PEEK

    • PP

    • Nylon/Polyamide

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Automotive

    • Building & Construction

    • Utilities

    • Electronics

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • UK

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

Key questions answered by the report
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