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Open AccessArticle

The Efficacy of Polymer Coatings for the Protection of Electroless Copper Plated Polyester Fabric

1
Institute of Engineering Materials and Design, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor, Smetanova 17, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
2
The Functional Materials Research Group, Department of Engineering, Computing and the Environment, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061277
Received: 6 May 2020 / Revised: 29 May 2020 / Accepted: 1 June 2020 / Published: 3 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Fibrous Materials and Smart Textile)
The selective metallisation of textiles is becoming a very important process in the development of electronic or e-textiles. This study investigated the efficacy of polymer coatings for the protection of copper (Cu) conductive tracks electroless plated on polyester (PES) fabric against laundering and rubbing, without essentially affecting the physical-mechanical and optical properties of the base material. After the electroless deposition of a consistent layer of Cu onto PES, four polymers were applied individually by screen-printing or padding. The physical-mechanical characterisation of coated textiles revealed that polyurethane resin (PUR) and modified acrylate resin (AR) had little effect on the air permeability, tensile strength and breaking tenacity of the PES, as compared to silicone elastomer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and epoxy resin (ER). On the other hand, PUR and PDMS had higher abrasion resistance and photo-stability under prolonged UV irradiation, as compared to AR and ER. In addition, freshly Cu plated samples were coated with polymers, washed up to 30 cycles and characterised by measuring their electrical resistivity, determination of colour changes and the examination of the surface morphology. Based on these results, PUR presented the most suitable protection of Cu tracks on PES, with the lowest impact on physical-mechanical properties. ER is not recommended to be used for protection of Cu tracks on fabrics, due to its rigidity, low photo-stability, washing and wear durability. View Full-Text
Keywords: PES fabric; electroless copper plating; conductive textile; polymers coatings; corrosion protection PES fabric; electroless copper plating; conductive textile; polymers coatings; corrosion protection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ojstršek, A.; Virant, N.; Fox, D.; Krishnan, L.; Cobley, A. The Efficacy of Polymer Coatings for the Protection of Electroless Copper Plated Polyester Fabric. Polymers 2020, 12, 1277. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061277

AMA Style

Ojstršek A, Virant N, Fox D, Krishnan L, Cobley A. The Efficacy of Polymer Coatings for the Protection of Electroless Copper Plated Polyester Fabric. Polymers. 2020; 12(6):1277. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061277

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ojstršek, Alenka; Virant, Natalija; Fox, Daryl; Krishnan, Latha; Cobley, Andrew. 2020. "The Efficacy of Polymer Coatings for the Protection of Electroless Copper Plated Polyester Fabric" Polymers 12, no. 6: 1277. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061277

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