conductive non metal material for plating?

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    Default conductive non metal material for plating?

    im wondering if a material exists, that is easier to machine than metal, but one that is conductive so that it can be plated with copper and then whatever else after for desired metalic finish??

    Basically i would love if a conductive machinable plastic or resin existed, one that i could machine and then polish to a perfect finish and then send off to a plating company, something that wouldnt require conductive paint, basically id like the material itself to be conductive so that i could polish it before plating.

    Id love if a material already existed but if not, im wondering what you guys thought about adding copper powder to resin and making my own material...would adding enough copper power create a material that would be conductive enough to not require conductive paint?

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    Default Re: conductive non metal material for plating?

    Machinable Graphite is available in all sorts of stock sizes, is conductive, and is as easily plated as nearly any metal. Depending upon what you wish to plate onto it, it might require 'seeding', but that's usually easy, too; just an application of a salt of a metal to improve surface conductivity. Usually, machinable graphite is conductive-enough not to require seeding.

    Lloyd



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    Default Re: conductive non metal material for plating?

    that's interesting and I wondered about that.

    The reason I didn't automatically assume that was my solution, was because I always assumed that graphite was very fragile. if I machined something out of it, and then plated it, would it be very fragile? I have never machined , nor handled graphite stock so I am not familiar with the properties of the material.....also, does it polish easily? ..I mean, it doesn't have to be as strong as metal but if it dropped , I do not want it to break extremely easily.



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    Default Re: conductive non metal material for plating?

    You did not stipulate that it required to be mechanically robust. No... graphite IS fragile.

    However, there are many conductive plastics which, with just a little 'seeding', will plate like metal. Consider all the plated PLASTIC accessories and handles in your automobile!

    If you don't intend to do the plating yourself, there is likely a commercial plater in your area who will be able to plate _anything_ with proper seeding.

    Lloyd



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    Default Re: conductive non metal material for plating?

    im pretty sure that plated plastic found in a car is plated in a different way, its not typically electroplated...its a process ( forget what its called, maybe vacuum metalizing??) that deposits metal particles in a vapor vacuum ..I don't think the plastic is conductive at all...I would love to hear about a conductive plastic, or better yet resin, available in sheets, that I could mill and then polish and directly plate, for prototyping purposes..there is a plater next door to my factory and he plates for us all the time, the problem is that he doesn't plate non conductive parts...he told me when I asked him, that hell plate whatever I want, no job too small, but he expects that whatever I give him, to already be conductive so that he can just throw it in the tank with whatever other job he happens to be running at the time..its for this reason im trying to find a relatively easy way for me to make 3D Chrome looking objects without the need to mill metal.



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    Default Re: conductive non metal material for plating?

    Fine... it was just a suggestion. You may ignore the fact that I've plated dried INSECTS by electroplating. But, then, that's impossible without vapor deposition plating... so I'll just go my merry way.

    (You MIGHT consider looking up 'seeding' of non-conductive substances before you entirely discard the concept, though.)

    C'ya!

    Lloyd



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    Default Re: conductive non metal material for plating?

    Try doing a search on how to plate through-holes for PCBs. Same problem: need to plate a non conductive material and have it come out reasonably strong. Various chemical concoctions and techniques can be used to provide a solid conductive base layer for plating.



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conductive non metal material for plating?

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