Plating Plastics And Other Non Conductive Surfaces

Plastic or many other item that is a non-conductor has to be made conductive for a plate to adhere to its surface.

Silvaspray is designed to bond tenaciously to most plastics. It will also cover most other nonconductive materials, giving good adhesion.

Connect wires to the part to be plated, in order to conduct electricity to the part for plating. It is important that you do this PRIOR to coating, to enable the coating to make contact with the wire.

Apply by spray or brush, an even coat of SILVASPRAY Silver Conductive Paint


Attach a copper wire to the item, to conduct the electric current. Shake the canister vigorously for at least two minutes. Pour the liquid into the spray gun (air brush etc) and check for sediment in the original container and if present, remix the solution until all silver sediment is suspended in the solution.  

Spray a light mist coat onto the part, and allow to dry for at least 5 minutes (@ 20 C min). Spray a second coat, at about 12" from the object, ensuring you spray up to and over the copper plating wire. Allow to dry for at least 15-30 minutes.

Plate the part for approx 30 minutes in our Bright Acid Copper tank "do not use Flash Copper" or in our Regular Bright Nickel tank. Once plated with copper you may polish lightly, then nickel and/or gold plate. If plating with Nickel then use a loose cotton wheel and a white compound to bring out the shine.


BABY SHOES - Replace laces if worn. Wash the shoe and laces separately in detergent and allow to dry. Tie the laces, and allow them to fall naturally Glue them into position using a hot melt glue gun. Glue the tongue into position. Cut off any frayed stitching etc.

To aid in sinking the shoe, you may pour some Plaster-of-Paris into the toe. This will also help the shoe keep its shape. Allow to thoroughly dry. Affix plating wires to the shoe. You could put a couple of wood screws in the sole and heel of the shoe and also use the shoelace holes. The more wires the better conductivity you'll get.

Immerse the shoe into the mixed CASWELL ACRILYC SEALER for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to remove any entrapped air bubbles in the toe area. CASWELL SEALER comes in concentrated form. 32 oz of sealer can be mixed with 32 oz of water before use.

Make a shoe rack by hammering several 4" nails into a small plank of wood. Invert the shoe over the nail and allow it to drain and thoroughly dry for about 4-8 hours.

Dip the part into CASWELL SEALER momentarily, and allow to dry, then repeat. Spray SILVASPRAY, Silver Conductive Paint over the entire shoe. The coating should extend into the shoe as far as possible. Allow to dry. Make sure the wires are well coated; otherwise you will not conduct power to the surface of the shoe.

Suspend the shoe from the tank bar, which should already be wired to the "live" power unit, and immerse in the bright acid copper plating tank. The shoe should immediately start plating. The average baby shoes will measure approximately 25-30 square inches so should be plated at the rate of (1amp per 20 sq ") 2-3 amps.

Plate for approximately 1 hour. Remove and inspect. Sand/emery any rough spots. Continue plating for about 3-5 hours, checking periodically for any rough spots, which should be sanded smooth. Smooth cloths and leather will have different appearances. Rinse the part off, then polish lightly and then proceed to the section in this book, ANTIQUE AND BLACKENING TECHNIQUES, for a choice of antiquing finishes, or plate with nickel and/or gold, or the bronze plating kit.

Antiquing solutions will give a bronze look, and with some buffing, the copper colour underneath can be exposed, giving an antiqued look. If you desire an overall finish of bronze, plate with the Caswell Bronze Plating Kit.

If plating with bronze, nickel, gold or silver, then the part needs to be polished to a high shine, to give best effect. Brush the shoe with steel wool or a soft buffing wheel and compound to remove the antiquing oxides and expose the copper on the high spots. Finally dip into CASWELL SEALER and rack to dry.

This process can be used for I-pods and Mobile Phones to allow a more decorative finish to the case. Bear in mind that some phone cases are made of Stainless Steel and these can be plated by using the Caswell Stainless Steel Activator for Gold and then brush plating over this.

Aluminium cases must be "Zincated" first and then plated in either Flash Copper or Regular Bright Nickel before a further gold or silver finish can be applied.

To assist the Silvaspray or Copper Conductive Paint to give a good anchorage and workable surface, use should be made of DUPLI-COLOR ADHESION PROMOTER. 

This product helps the adhesion of lacquers when painting onto plastic, fibreglass, ABS bumpers and some aluminium.

Silvaspray"IM Make non-conductive items conductive so that plating may be applied. Kit covers approx 10-15 sq ft

Silvaspray™ is a new silver conductive coating for use on plastic substrates. It is unique in that it is formulated in very mild solvents that can tolerate higher built-in stresses which can be found in moulded parts, and provides unequalled shielding at less than 0.5 mil (12.5 microns) dry film thickness. The dried conductive film is extremely hard, tough and durable, contains no methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) or other strong solvents, which can attack solvent- sensitive substrates, such as polycarbonate and polycarbonate blends. Silvaspray™ is supplied as a concentrate, and it is designed with a fast drying solvent blend, which is desirable in high volume production.


Compatible with sensitive plastics because of mild solvents. Effective shielding at less than

Unmatched conductivity - superior to any other coating product. Cost saving because of superior conductivity performance at thin films. Excellent film cohesion. "Zero Tolerance" for loose particles in the film. Passes U.L. requirements.

  • mil (12.5 microns) dry Contains no ketones, such as MEK, or other harsh solvents. 1000 Silver as the conductive medium.
  • Excellent adhesion to most plastic
  • Excellent abrasion
  • Supplied as a viscous liquid for reduced
  • Minimal over spray and dusting during
  • No rub-off due to
  • Fast

Although Silvaspray™ is formulated in mild solvents, the user must test the compatibility on the actual moulded parts to determine its suitability for any specific application. The following application parameters should be followed for optimum properties: Material should

be stirred thoroughly before use. Material should be incorporated into a re-circulating system. Pressure in the system should be adjusted to produce sufficient flow rates to ensure suspension of the metal.

The gun should be set as follows:

Completely shut off needle to the gun. Slowly open needle to achieve a minimum wet film. Adjust fan for part. Readjust needle setting to ensure minimum wet coat. By following the above procedures, a number of benefits will be achieved. The optimum minimum film thickness will result in minimum cost per part. The above techniques will produce a very smooth and bright appearance. Maximum conductivity will also be achieved. Silvaspray™ dries rapidly. Keep container closed. If skins develop, do not attempt to dissolve - strain through a coarse filter. Clean equipment after each use. Ethyl alcohol can be used to clean equipment. If strong solvents are used, flush the system with ethyl alcohol before use.


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