Manufacturing method for LDS structureable polymer-based sensor components

// Material Technology // Mechanical Engineering // Production Technology
Ref-Nr: 16857

Abstract

For the first time, the inventive process enables the manufacturing of LDS-structurable moulded parts from polyether ether ketone (PEEK) with surface properties suitable for microproduction technology.

Fig. 1: Pre-structured sensor structure on PEEK substrate with through-hole plating via LDS

background

LDS (laser direct structuring) is a technology for applying conductor paths to injection-moulded components. A corresponding moulded part consists of doped plastics provided with organometallic additives (LDS additives). A laser beam causes a chemical reaction on the surface, which produces a thin, metallic, roughened surface. In subsequent coating processes, layers of copper, nickel and gold can be applied to these metal particles, thus forming the circuit layout.

In addition to LDS technology, there is also a production strategy to produce metallic conductor paths on a plastic moulded part by means of surface pre-structuring using plastic injection moulding, subsequent PVD-based metallization and subsequent material-removing polishing process. In the case of injection-moulded components made of PEEK, however, the increasing proportion of LDS additives means that there are material-related limitations with regard to the surface properties that can be achieved, which is an obstacle to microproduction applications.

Innovation / Solution

The inventive technology represents a process for injection moulding plastic mouldings from PEEK, which makes it possible to achieve an improved surface quality of the moulded part with a sufficiently high proportion of LDS additives for LDS technology. The achievable roughness and planarity make it possible to use this material also for microproduction relevant applications and to combine the potentials of both manufacturing strategies in one component.

Benefits

Producibility of LDS-structurable polyether ether ketone (PEEK) molded parts with surface properties suitable for microproduction technology Reduction of process steps in the manufacturing process chain Production process chain also possible outside clean room conditions

fields of application

Injection-molded plastic components with metallic conductor paths applied by special processes offer great design freedom and combine mechanical and electronic functions in one molded part. Applications are increas-ingly found in the automotive and sensor industries.

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