Plating on plastics (POP) refers to the application of metal onto plastic surfaces by electroplating. Plastics are plated with metals such as chromium and nickel to give them the luster expected of metal surfaces and enhance features such as corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance, toughness, and ease of cleaning.
The use of plastics started increasing nearly five decades ago, owing to their physical properties, namely toughness, flexibility, lightness, excellent surface quality, and ease of producing complex parts out of them. This led to the replacement of metals by plastics as the material for construction in a number of applications. Plating on plastics technology has provided a viable third way for manufacturers, as metal plating introduces the benefits of metal surfaces without compromising on the structural benefits of plastics. As a result, plating on plastics technology is gaining attention from several industries looking for wider uses of plastics in a variety of applications such as medical devices and consumer goods.
This report on the global plating on plastics market gives a detailed overview of the historical growth and observed development trajectory of the global POP market. The detailed document also gives a forward-looking perspective of the market’s potential growth prospects over the 2016-2024 forecast period.
The rising demand for lightweight and high-performance substitutes to metals in the automotive industry is one of the major factors driving the global plating on plastics market. Rising consumer awareness regarding the environmental and performance benefits of lightweight vehicles has led to the increased use of a variety of plastics and metal-plastic polymers in the automotive industry, which is a key driver for the global plating on plastics market.
The automotive industry is thus the leading end user of the plating on plastics technique. The sector employs plating on plastics across verticals ranging from internal decorative elements to exterior protective elements and accessories in basic as well as premium cars.
Apart from the automotive industry, the consumer goods, food and beverages, and cosmetics industries are the key consumers of plating on plastics technology. The global POP market also earns a major share of its revenue from its application in the plumbing sector. Owing to the protection afforded by plating on plastics against water, they are becoming the preferred material in the plumbing industry.
The metal finish of POP-treated polymers makes them ideal for use in areas that are constantly subjected to humid and intermittent hot and cold conditions, such as bathroom fittings. This is likely to remain a key driver for the global plating on plastics market in the coming years, as the demand for plumbing from the residential as well as commercial construction is likely to grow in the coming years.
The global plating on plastics market is presently led by Europe owing to the presence of some of the world’s leading automotive companies in Central and Western Europe. The recent global economic depression, which had an especially strong impact on a number of industries in Europe, has also had a major impact on the region’s automotive industry, which has impacted the POP market adversely. However, steady recovery looks likely for the automotive industry in the coming years, presenting major growth opportunities for the plating on plastics market as well.
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Asia Pacific presents major growth opportunities for the global POP market owing to the rising demand for passenger and luxury vehicles in developing countries such as India and China. The rapidly rising population of high disposable income demographics in these countries has led to an increased demand for passenger and commercial vehicles in the past few years, leading to increased prospects for the plating on plastics market.
The global POP market features a large number of vendors operating in intense competition. The highly fragmented competitive landscape has prompted market players to invest more in research and the development of more effective and reliable plating on plastic technologies. Acquisition of specialty chemical manufacturers is a popular trend among companies in the plating on plastic market. Some of the major companies in the market are Applegate, Helco Metal, Sarrel Group, Thanh Luan, Trenton, Bolta Werke, Chromal, BEP Surface Technology, and Xinpoint.