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Optimization of electro deposition technique to copper recovery and its use in metal matrix composites manufacturing


During the last years, several processes of recovery metals from industrial wastes have been developed in order to decrease environmental contaminant level. A novel technique is based on electrochemical deposition of metals (like copper, copper alloys or nickel) onto the surface of a cathode formed by carbon granules, followed by a step of melting with the aim of removing metal of the cathode. An interesting alternative would be to use the graphite coated by copper or copper alloy for copper matrix composites (CMC) manufacture. This kind of materials improves copper properties to be used in wear, thermal, electrical or electronic applications. The research developed in this project will be related to optimization and adaptation of copper recovery technique from industrial wastes (efluents or sludges) through its electrochemical deposition on graphite fibre or particle surface and its subsequent use in low cost copper matrix composites manufacture. These materials are very interesting to use in some applications, because of their high thermal and electrical conductivity, high modulus and stiffness, improved creep resistance and strength at high temperatures, lower coefficient of thermal expansion and density, in comparison to unreinforced copper. It will be taken into account three different manufacturing technologies like diffussion bonding, hot pressing or pressure infiltration, but only one of them will be used (depending on the final application) in the project development. The alternative of using graphite coated as raw material in CMC manufacture would become the recovery process more profitable as well as would remove two steps in the whole process (removing copper from cathode to recover it and coating of fibres, frequently used in copper matrix composite manufacture) decreasing, by this hand, the final cost of the material. The results of the present project will get technological solutions and improvement in components of electronic, electrical and/or thermal applications. Industrial companies envolved in the project will be able to incorporate materials and technologies developed that, nowadays, ar not viable in commercial industrial sector. Therefore, they will become more competitive in European and worldwide scale.

Funding Scheme

EAW - Exploratory awards


FATZ - France
69,Rue Des Lacs
31150 Lespinasse