Nickel price increases likely to put pressure on plastic automotive components says UK manufacturer – by Leanne Taylor (British Plastics and Rubber – July 31, 2018)

A UK manufacturer of a metal-plated plastic automotive components says the increasing price of nickel is likely to put pressure on the price of parts.

David Brereton, Sales Director for Essex-based Borough Ltd, says the steady upward price increase of nickel could create “a knock-on effect” when it comes to the manufacturing process. “We have worked hard over decades to perfect our ability to chrome plate plastic components and nickel plays a critical role,” explained Brereton.

“To make the plastic components electronically conductive, we deposit a layer of nickel over a catalytic palladium layer during a chemical dipping process, before we can add the copper, more nickel layers and chrome that ensure the quality finish top marques demand.

“It is the nickel and the way we apply it that allows us to deliver not only the bright chrome required for exterior trim, but the satin finish finding favour for interior highlights and touch points.

“Plastic is now the substrate of choice for its weight saving characteristics, but we still rely heavily on a variety of metals to complete our components, to provide the look and feel required by our clients.”

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