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Challenges for the electrochemical/electroless metallization of additive manufactured polymer parts

: Dietz, A.

Abstract ()

Electrochemical Society. ECS Meeting abstracts (2019), Nr.2, Abstract 918
ISSN: 1091-8213
ISSN: 2151-2043
Electrochemical Society (ECS Meeting) <236, 2019, Atlanta/Ga.>
Abstract, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IST ()

Additive manufacturing is a well-known technology for manufacturing components with complex geometries. Materials for this process are mainly metals, but also ceramics and polymers. Many components that are produced in large series are still produced today using traditional manufacturing methods such as turning or milling. This also limits their design. In the case of small series or individual parts, additive processes are being used more and more frequently, for which there are no such restrictions. In these cases, the design of these components can be optimally adapted to the required function. Another advantage is often a considerable weight saving. A major disadvantage of this process is often the insufficient surface quality, which can lead to problems when using the component. Particularly with polymer components, galvanic metallization can create additional advantages, e.g. mechanical reinforcement, electrical conductivity or the prevention of outgassing. However, components manufactured by different AM processes have different surface structures depending on the manufacturing process. For example, powder bed-based processes (SLM - Selective Laser Melting) provide a very rough surface. Filament-based methods (FDM - Fused Deposition Modeling), on the other hand, produce a very smooth surface when viewed microscopically, and a very rough surface when viewed macroscopically (half wave profile). For the electroless and electrochemical metallization of polymer components, this can lead to a major problem with the adhesion of the metal layer to the polymer. In addition, AM-manufactured components are geometrically very complex, so Faraday shielding must be taken into account in galvanic metallization. The lecture discusses the basics and latest findings on galvanic metallization of plastic components with special consideration of AM-manufactured components and Cr(VI)-free pre-treatment.