Fundamental mechanisms affecting service performance of electroplated plastics
Ten grades of ABS and four grades of polypropylene have been plated with various copper + nickel + chromium coatings and subjected to a variety of tests. In corrosion studies the pre-electroplating sequence and plastics type have been shown to influence performance. One ABS pre-electroplating sequence was consistently associated with better corrosion performance; two factors were responsible for this, namely the more severe nature of the etch and the relatively more noble electroless nickel. Statistical analysis has indicated that order of severity of the corrosion tests was static-mobile-CASS, the latter being the least severe. In mechanical tests two properties of ABS and polypropJylene, ductility and impact strength, have been shown to be adversely affected when electrodeposited layers were applied. The cause of this is due to a complex of factors, the most important of which is the notch sensitivity of the plastics. Peel adhesion has been studied on flat panels and also on ones which had a ridge and a valley moulded into one face. High adhesion peaks occurred on the flat face at regions associated with the ridge and valley. The local moulding conditions induced by the features were responsible for this phenonemon. In the main programme the thermal cycling test was shown to be more likely than the peel adhesion test to give an indication of the service performance of electroplated plastics.
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