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Plating On Plastics

Accu-Labs has  a complete product offering metalizing objects made of plastics, such as ABS, polypropylene, Teflon or polycarbonate.

TYPICAL PROCESS FLOW GUIDELINE FOR POP/EMI/RFI APPLICATIONS:

  • PRE-ETCH CONDITIONING (PC/ABS Pre-Etch for PC/ABS Blends, 422 for straight PC, LCP-45 for liquid crystal polymers. Straight ABS typically doesn’t require pre-etch.
  • DUAL RINSING
  • CHROME/SULFURIC ETCH typically operated at 165°F for etching plastic for catalyst reception.
  • TRIPLE RINSING
  • NEUTRALIZER 722 (This product neutralizes chrome residue operates same temperature as etch.
  • RINSE
  • PROMOTER 724 (This product is a cationic surfactant used to promote subsequent catalyst absorption). May not be required for some ABS applications. Ambient temperature..
  • DUAL RINSE
  • ACTIVATOR 726 (This product is a tin/palladium colloidal catalyst to facilitate electroless copper deposition). Operates typically at 80°F
  • RINSE
  • ACCELERATOR 727 (This product removes the tin from the colloid to expose the palladium for electroless copper deposition) ambient temperature.
  • RINSE
  • ELECTROLESS COPPER (Our 855 an EDTA based electroless copper for plastics). Operates at 115°F.
  • DUAL RINSE
  • Parts are then taken to electrolytic copper, nickel, and chrome OR taken to the…
  • INITIATOR 353 (Very dilute palladium product designed to cover the copper surface for subsequent electroless nickel deposition)
  • RINSE
  • ELECTROLESS NICKEL (Either 388 only for shielding or 388 as a nickel strike then a subsequent rinse and into the 394 bath for thicker build, bright, decorative deposits)
  • DUAL RINSE, HOT DI WATER RINSE, and DRY at 140°F

Accu-Labs 353 Nickel Initiator

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Nickel is not autocatalytic when plating onto copper, therefore the copper surface must be treated with an initiator that is comprised of hydrochloric acid and palladium. A small amount of copper is dissolved and replaced with a small amount of palladium.

PC/ABS Pre-Etch System for Mixed Resin Applications

Accu-Labs PC-ABS Two-Part Pre-Etch (422 & LCS-50) is a solvent-based solution that is used in the preparation of PC/ABS blends and other high-performance substrates by conditioning the surface of the substrate for subsequent etching, pre-treatment and electroless plating on plastics or EMI/RFI shielding applications.

LCP-45 Pre-Etch for Conditioning Liquid Crystal Polymers

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Accu-Labs LCP-45 is an alkaline material that is used in the preparation of liquid crystal polymers by conditioning the surface of the substrate for subsequent pre-treatment and plating on plastic and EMI/RFI shielding applications.

Features and Benefits of This Plating on Plastics Systems:

  • Single component make-up and replenishment
  • Uniform conditioning and etching of substrate
  • Wide operating window
  • Absence of chrome and solvents better for environment
  • Economy of operation

Accu-Labs 422 Pre-Etch for Polycarbonate and Other Engineered Resins

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Accu-Labs 422 Pre-Etch is a solvent solution that is diluted with DI water and is designed to surface swell polycarbonate and other engineering resins. Used in process with chromic sulfuric acid etches Accu-Labs 422 produces homogenous, stress-free surfaces for subsequent electroless plating on plastic and EMI/RFI shielding applications.

Accu-Labs 722 Neutralizer

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Accu-Labs 722 Neutralizer is a solution that is diluted with DI water and is designed to neutralize chromic acid/sulfuric acid etch residues on polycarbonate and other engineering resins. Used in process with hydrochloric or sulfuric acid, Accu-Labs 722 reduces hexavalent chromium to trivalent chromium to eliminate skip plating for subsequent electroless plating on plastic and EMI/RFI shielding applications.

Accu-Labs 724 Catalyst Promoter

A proprietary surfactant is used to prepare and condition the etched and neutralized surface so that the plastic parts will be properly activated in the tin/palladium catalyst bath.

Accu-Labs 726 POP Catalyst

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Accu-Labs 726 POP Catalyst is an acidic-immersion, palladium-based liquid activator/catalyst for the preparation of various plastics and engineered substrates for obtaining adherent, uniform deposits of electroless copper or nickel. The process can be used for decorative and shielding applications.

Accu-Labs 727 Accelerator

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Accu-Labs 727 Accelerator is a liquid product that is used for the removal of tin that is co-deposited with palladium during the 726 POP Catalyst activation step. The removal of the tin exposes the palladium allowing for the deposition of electroless copper or electroless nickel in subsequent steps of the plating cycle.

Accu-Labs 388 Alkaline Electroless Nickel Plating on Plastics Process

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The Accu-Labs 388 electroless nickel system is specifically formulated to deposit a thin, uniform nickel/phosphorus coating onto properly prepared plastics for EMI/RFI shielding as well as zincated aluminum substrates and zinc die cast. This system is used prior to plating in an acid, electroless, nickel bath for brighter, thicker, decorative, and functional applications.

Accu-Labs 394 Low Temperature Bright Electroless Nickel/Phosphorus Plating on Plastics System

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The 394 System is specifically formulated to produce a lead-free and cadmium-free, bright nickel phosphorus deposits at a consistent rate of deposition at a temperature that is suited for plating on plastics and EMI/RFI shielding applications. The 394 System meets Mil-26074B, AMS 2404B and AMS 2405 specifications.

The 394 Plating on Plastics System offers the following characteristics:

  • Lead- and Cadmium-free deposits
  • Operates at a plastic friendly temperature
  • Excellent Stability
  • Consistent Rate of Deposition 0.3-0.5 mils/hour
  • Consistent Pit-Free Smooth Semi-Bright to Bright Deposits
  • 1:1 Replenishment
  • High Tolerance to Impurities
  • RoHS, WEEE, and ELV Compliant

Accu-Labs 855 Electroless Copper Plating on Plastics System

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The Accu-Labs 855 electroless copper system is specifically formulated to deposit exceptionally fine grain, low-stress copper coverage on high-performance substrates. Accu-Labs 855 has a user-friendly window of operation with exceptional stability resulting in favorable maintenance costs.