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topic 1374

Can you vacuum metallize Delrin



We are currently mfg. a product made from Delrin (or otherwise referred to as Acetel) and will be subjected to a wet environment.

First, can you chrome or vacuum metallize Delrin? Secondly, how thick a layer of metal is applied?

If you can help...

Peter Zosimadis
Toronto, Ont., Canada


I guess that vacuum metallizing can mean different things to different people. Certainly there are robust metallizing technologies that are done in a vacuum and could be called vacuum metallizing.

On the other hand though, when I hear 'vacuum metallizing', I am thinking of the process of aluminizing a plastic with a few angstroms of aluminum, then topping it with a lacquer, exclusively for decorative reasons.

It should not be considered anything like chrome plating of plastic. The headlamp bezels and grill work of your car are chrome plated plastic; the headlamp bezels and grill work of your son's 89 cent toy car are vacuum metallized :-)

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Dear Ray,

Although I do not know the material, I assume it is like a plastic, solid material. Yes, it is possible to vacuum deposit/coat such a material. The question is what does the part look like, what kind of metal coating do you need and what quantities are we talking about. All these are important for vacuum metallizing because of its limitations. What do you mean by subject to wet environment? The thickness you need may depend on the kind of performance you are expecting.


Mandar Sunthankar
- Fort Collins, Colorado


It may be possible to vacuum metallize Delrin. Further research would be required concerning this material and application. A test plaque and additional information as to the application of the product and packaging size would be needed to further evaluate your request. You stated a wet environment, vacuum metallizing in a raw state on a plastic part does not lend itself to that type of application but if it is protected by another product it may suffice.

Michael Elliott
Kentwood, Michigan, USA


I believe it is possible to vacuum metallize delrin and give you good weather resistance.

Don Shadel
Wauseon, Ohio


Hello , in response to your question we have a addition to our metallizing of our current line of parabolic (poly styrene) louvers that we introduce a monomer into the chamber that is then turned into a polymer top coat that in fact does repel water . It is put on our parts to give a longer life to this part . We also evaporate a silicon monoxide powder on top of the monomer for a longer lasting mirror finish . With just the monomer I have seen that water just runs off like if had a coat of fresh wax .

Adrian Martinez
- Skokie, Illinois, U.S.A.


Did you ever find a decent method or good equipment to do this job?


Bob Gussman
- Cartago, Costa Rica

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