Aimplas Presents First Results of Samdokan Project
Plating of plastic materials has evolved into a big business, covering huge amount of commercial applications. The Samdokan project undertaken by the Plastics Technology Center Aimplas, Valencia, Spain, and three industrial partners ( Niquelados Mira, Spain; PGS Plastik, Turkey; Durden, Turkey) was focused on the study of the industrialization process of a new environmentally-friendly process of metallization of plastic parts, applied to different sectors: automotive, electrical appliances and sanitary plastic parts.
For activating the surface of the plastic and successfully plating it is necessary to employ etching solutions based on carcinogenic chromic acid and toxic Pd/Sn colloids; however these methodologies are subject to restrictions and disadvantages due to environmental contamination and health and safety related issues. In an attempt to avoid the use of carcinogenic hexavalent chromic acid in pre-treatments for metallizing plastic surfaces, which will be forbidden in 2017 by REACH regulations, the plastic plating industry is thoroughly investigating new technologies to find alternatives to the use of traditional plating practices.
Within the Samdokan project a new technology based on molecular self-assembly (SAM) has been developed to create a conductive layer at a competitive cost for the metallization process. This technology comprises three steps: oxidation, molecular self-assembly and metal nanoparticles deposition. The careful selection of the nanoparticles allows the process to be versatile for the different plastic surfaces following as final step the conventional platting process.
The Samdokan project ensures an efficient industrialization of the Molecular Self Assembly technology opening a new market for electroplating a larger family of plastic products, including plastics containing fillers or fibres, where traditional Cr (VI) plating industries have not been able to reach.
The promising results obtained at the end of the project and the validated properties of the products resulted require now moving one-step forward making it available for the rest of plating companies through the business plans established in the project.
AIMPLAS Instituto Tecnológico del Plástico
Would you like to subscribe to our Newsletters on plastics technology and profit from the latest information?
Looking for a new challenge? Check out our jobs market!
Patents encourage innovation: Stay on the ball with the latest innovations in the plastics industry in our patents section.