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Open AccessArticle

Study on the Growth and Properties of Electrolessly Deposited Thin Copper Coatings on Epoxy-Based CFRP

1
FIDAMC—Foundation for the Research, Development and Application of Composite Materials, Av. Rita Levi Montalcini 29, 28906 Getafe, Madrid, Spain
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Av. de la Universidad 30, 28911 Leganés, Spain
3
Polytechnique Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2020, 10(3), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10030271
Received: 13 February 2020 / Revised: 9 March 2020 / Accepted: 11 March 2020 / Published: 14 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nanostructured Polymer and Inorganic Coatings)
In this study, copper coatings smaller than 3 µm were created by electroless deposition on epoxy-based carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates for enhancing their electrical properties. This well-known method of metallization was employed with a self-designed combination of reagents, and the coatings were studied to evaluate their physical and chemical properties. A five-stage plating strategy was applied to 40 mm × 40 mm samples, and three different coatings were produced during the work. The metal layers created were studied and characterized to evaluate their, electrical conductivity, thickness, and adhesion to substrates, among other properties. In addition, the growth mechanisms of the microstructure were analyzed in detail for a better understanding of the process. The results showed that the proposed metallization strategy presents good characteristics and is a strong candidate for enhancing the electrical performance of CFRP. View Full-Text
Keywords: metallization strategy; functional epoxy CFRP; electroless copper; electrically conductive composites; metallization; lightning strike protection metallization strategy; functional epoxy CFRP; electroless copper; electrically conductive composites; metallization; lightning strike protection
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Juan, S.; Gordo, E.; Jiménez-Morales, A.; Sirois, F. Study on the Growth and Properties of Electrolessly Deposited Thin Copper Coatings on Epoxy-Based CFRP. Coatings 2020, 10, 271.

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