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Need advice on vacuum metallization of high temperature plastic / resin

(-----) January 14, 2008

I am an Engineer working for a small electronic shielding company.

I am looking for an injection molding plastic that can be vacuum metallized with enough adhesion to withstand lead free reflow soldering. So far I have tried several different types from DuPont, AMODEL, and Lanxess. I have tried vacuum metallization with hot dip tinning and also galvanic electroplating but have had a lot of difficulty with adhesion during tinning, leading me to believe reflow soldering will also not work. I understand etching can help but at this point rather than experiment more, I would rather get a recipe if one exists.

Note I have had success with electroless plating of Ultem, but this is an expensive process and an expensive plastic, and I need something economically feasible for mass production.

Brian Jackman
product designer - Sunnyvale, California

March 12, 2008

ABS plastic resin materials are used in most electronic equipment/appliances/gadgets and most are vacuum metallized preparatory to electro-static painting. I think it's good material. . . but Torlon is the best. But if your application needs requires temp higher than 150 deg C it would be very difficult to find such a material, plastic resins most of them becomes liquid at 200 deg C. Soft at 150.

I understand if you substitute plastic injected parts against metal ones, cost reduction would be dramatically
low, but as stated above there is a limit when it comes to
application. So there is a need to know more about your application.

But to understand more, your question need to be expanded.
Solder reflow in the Electronics Industry usually uses anodized aluminum plates to cover or mask the PCB and keep SMT packages & other discretes in place during reflow.
Maybe you might want to use aluminum casting en masse then anodize as shield. Its almost same as plastic Injection Economics.

Hope I did understand your question.

Joseph Franco
- Imus Cavite, Philippines

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