Silver metallization and Selective Metallization by Spraying on Film

Silver metallization and Selective Metallization by Spraying on Film

Koen Staelens
Jet Metal Technologies

Jet Metal Technologies (France) introduces a green alternative for metallization processes like PVD, electroplating or evaporation. Two chemical solutions, an oxidant containing the metal salt of the metal that the user wants to deposit, the other the reducing agent, are both water based, solvent, Pd and CMR free. Using compressed air and a double nozzle spraying paint gun, the reducing and oxidizing agent are simultaneously sprayed onto the substrate surface, starting an oxido-reduction reaction and instantly forming a thin metal layer. The end result of this reaction is a dense and high adherent metallic film on the substrate surface. The technology is applied on many substrate geometries (small or big, easy or complex, 2D or 3 D shape) and basically all substrate material choices, whether it is an electrically conducting or non-conducting surface. The range of substrates goes from metals, metal alloys, over glass, textiles, ceramics, silicon, leather to a long list of plastics and composites to even wax. The only prerequisite is linked with the use of water based solutions: in order realize an evenly well distributed metal layer over the surface, a good substrate wettability is needed which can be achieved via a pre-treatment step (flaming, plasma or corona). Once the required layer thickness is reached, spraying deionized water stops all reactions and the substrate is dried with the help of compressed air, so no for a curing step. By adding one more step to the above described process, a selective, conductive pattern can be realized: an alkali sensitive organic ink, used as a negative mask, is printed on the substrate with an ink jet printer. As the oxidant and reducing agent have a pH >10, a loss of adhesion of the printed ink is achieved. During the final step of the process (spraying with deionized water) the ink layer is removed, leaving only metallization where there was no ink printed: a selective coating is achieved, and the result is the exact opposite of the pattern designed with the ink.