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Metal Coated Plastic Parts

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000074738D
Original Publication Date: 1971-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Eggert, WC: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A metal coated plastic part can be manufactured by electroplating a metal mold surface with the desired metal, and then depositing a plastic on the plated metal surface of the mold. The adhesion of the plated metal layer to the mold is considerably less than the adhesion of the metal layer to the molded plastic part. Thus, when the part is removed from the mold, it carries an integral metal coating having properties associated with metals, such as appearance, wear resistance, electrical conductivity, etc. The mold may be formed from a class of metals such as stainless steel or chromium plated steel. The metal to be plated may be any electroformable metal, for example, copper or nickel.

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Metal Coated Plastic Parts

A metal coated plastic part can be manufactured by electroplating a metal mold surface with the desired metal, and then depositing a plastic on the plated metal surface of the mold. The adhesion of the plated metal layer to the mold is considerably less than the adhesion of the metal layer to the molded plastic part. Thus, when the part is removed from the mold, it carries an integral metal coating having properties associated with metals, such as appearance, wear resistance, electrical conductivity, etc. The mold may be formed from a class of metals such as stainless steel or chromium plated steel. The metal to be plated may be any electroformable metal, for example, copper or nickel.

The adhesion of the plastic, either a liquid or a molten plastic, to the plated metal layer is improved by first plating the metal onto the mold wall using normal current densities to form a smooth uniform surface adjacent the mold wall. When sufficient metal has been deposited, the current density is increased beyond the bright region to thereby produce a "burnt," dull and rough, layer of plated metal upon which the plastic is subsequently deposited.

An example of such a process utilizes an acid copper bath composed of CuSo(4), 28 ounces per gallon; H(2)SO(4), 7 1/2 ounces per gallon; and Ubac #1 in a quantity sufficient to extend the current bright range to 100 amperes per square foot. Ubac #1 is a proprietary brightening plating bath additive manufactu...