Plated plastics are becoming widely used especially for parts in automobiles and domestic appliances. It is currently thought that plateable plastics can be etched to allow the surface to be activated with a mono layer of Pd prior to the electroless deposition of Cu or Ni. Recent research has shown that a mono-layer does not exist but that Pd/Sn clusters nucleate on the polymer surface. The etching treatment influences nucleation and the accelerating process influences Pd/Sn concentration in clusters. Plastics which are unplateable e.g. nylon because one or more of these processes does not occur . The concept is to create surface discontinuities by incorporating filler particles in the polymer surface; the use of alternative thermal/mechanical surface treatments and accelerating solutions to enhance Pd/Sn cluster formation, in order to promote the efficient deposition from Cu and Ni electroless baths . Recycling by replating of high value components with plating problems will be assessed.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards
15 Blanchardstown Dublin 15