How are plastic parts plated with metallic finishes?

The plating process basically entails chemically etching platable grade materials to micro etch, or "roughen" the surface. This activates, or "seeds" the surface with metal ions. The activated surface can then undergo an electroless nickel plating. Once the plastic part is metalized with electroless nickel, it can then be processed in a similar way to metal substrate parts that are conductive for electrolytic plating processes.