Title: Metallisation of high density polyurethane surfaces

Authors: Büşra Ünlü; Yahya Öz; Metehan Erdoğan; İshak Karakaya

Addresses: Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Çankaya, ANK, Turkey; Advanced Materials, Processes and Energies Technology Centre, Turkish Aerospace, Kahramankazan, ANK, Turkey ' Advanced Materials, Processes and Energies Technology Centre, Turkish Aerospace, Kahramankazan, ANK, Turkey ' Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Keçiören, ANK, Turkey ' Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Çankaya, ANK, Turkey

Abstract: Electroplating onto polymeric materials is required for different purposes in various applications. Commercial polyurethanes (PU) are electrically insulator materials and durable at high temperatures. Nevertheless, the PU used in this study has a relatively higher electrical conductivity, lower thermal expansion and is a high density foam. In this work, surface metallisation of PU foam was studied to prepare the surface for subsequent electroplating processes. Surface metallisation was carried out by sensitisation, activation and electroless nickel (Ni) plating. Metallised surfaces were characterised according to surface morphologies after electrochemical Ni plating at different current densities and surface preparations. Roughness as well as electrical conductivity of the coatings was investigated. The results show that increasing current density adversely affects the surface morphology and metallisation processes enhance the surface conductivity of the foam.

Keywords: aerospace engineering; electroless plating; foam surface; metallisation; nickel coating; tool materials.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSURFSE.2021.118211

International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering, 2021 Vol.15 No.3, pp.242 - 264

Received: 03 Feb 2021
Accepted: 12 Apr 2021

Published online: 17 Sep 2021 *

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