A milestone in
direct plating on plastics
Short and efficient metallization of plastics
High quality processing for ABS and ABS/PC blends
High and stable conductivity on ABS and ABS/PC blends
- Reduced number of process and rinsing steps
- Higher conductivity before acid copper
- Less Pd in the activator working bath
- Versatile process that can be used for ABS and ABS/PC, also suitable for large parts
- Easy integration into existing electroplating equipment
- Complies with the requirements of the automotive, sanitary and fashion industries worldwide
- Suitable for plating on ABS as well as ABS/PC blends
- Meets the most demanding requirements of the automotive, sanitary and fashion industries worldwide
High quality, short and efficient metallization of plastics
With Neolink® E, Atotech has reached a crucial new milestone in direct plating on plastics. Much shorter than conventional plating systems for plastic materials, NeoLink® E ensures fast metal deposition on ABS and ABS/PC blends with no need for electroless Ni and Ni or Cu strike.
NeoLink® E is designed to work with low palladium content in the activation system. The low palladium formulation of NeoLink® E activators allows for minimized drag-out costs.
Conventional plating systems usually remove tin and tin chloride after activation in the accelerator step in order to expose palladium. NeoLink® E replaces tin with copper and generates an autocatalytic growth of copper oxide crystals on the surface. That further increases the conductivity of the plastic material resulting in easier acid copper deposition as well as allowing for further palladium reduction in the activator solution.
Easily integrated into existing lines, NeoLink® E removes the need for electroless nickel, any preplate or nickel and copper strike immediately. This consequently improves productivity and the reliability of the production.
What inspires us
Why we developed NeoLink® E
Direct plating on plastics offers many advantages. It is a fast, resource-saving alternative to conventional plating systems. However, the challenge lies in reducing the process’s high palladium consumption.
Our direct plating process NeoLink® E provides customers with considerably higher productivity compared to conventional systems. The low palladium formulation of NeoLink® E activators reduces costs. Additionally, the cu-link NeoLink® E increases conductivity allowing for palladium reduction in the activator solution.
Main process steps
Direct plating NeoLink® E
Etching is an essential step to achieve good metal adhesion during electroplating. In order to get a perfectly conditioned surface prior to activation, etch parameters must be adjusted to base material specifications. NeoLink® E Additive CR offers optimal etching for all ABS and ABS/PC blends.
Cr(VI) ions carried over from the etching bath may interfere with the final electroplating step. That is why they must be reduced to Cr(III) before activation. NeoLink® E Reducer CR reliably accomplishes this task, providing an important protection for the entire process sequence.
Since the hydrochloric acid in the pre-dip solution has the same concentration as in the activation bath, there is no need for rinsing between the two steps. NeoLink® E Activator contains Pd/Sn colloids stabilized with tin chloride. During activation, tin and palladium are adsorbed on the surface of pretreated base materials.
Unlike conventional systems, which usually remove tin and tin chloride from the surface in order to expose palladium, NeoLink® E replaces tin with copper. As a result, copper is able to link to palladium, providing the surface with a high and stable electrical conductivity that allows for direct acid copper plating. Additionally, the cu-link NeoLink® E increases conductivity allowing for palladium reduction in the activator solution.