Only conductive substrates can be galvanically metallized. Only conductive plastics, generally filled with conductive carbon black, can therefore be electroplated directly. Other plastics can be pretreated with a conductive coating.
By means of plasma treatment the substrate can be pretreated in order to obtain a good adherence for this coating as well for the electroplating layer. As an alternative, plastics can be metallised by CVD and PVD processes. To avoid excessive thermal load on the plastic, the PACVD process is usually the method of choice.