Arkansas Patent of the Month – June 2024

Earth Science Laboratories, Inc. has developed an innovative method for applying metal coatings to various substrates, bringing better choices to the metal plating industry. This advanced technique involves the use of an aqueous metal plating composition that includes polyammonium bisulfate (PABS) and a dissolved metal. The process begins by contacting the substrate with this specially formulated composition, allowing the metal to deposit in a uniform layer. After deposition, the substrate is rinsed with water, resulting in a precisely metal-treated surface.

This method offers significant flexibility and precision, enabling the creation of intricate metal patterns on insulating materials such as plastics and ceramics. By selectively applying the composition, manufacturers can produce continuous metal paths for electrical conductivity with widths ranging from nanometers to millimeters. This precision makes the technique ideal for creating sophisticated electronic components and circuit boards.

The versatility of the substrates is another standout feature. The method can be applied to metals like steel, aluminum, and titanium, as well as non-metallic materials including plastics like ABS and polycarbonate. This broad applicability opens new possibilities for industries ranging from automotive to consumer electronics.

A key innovation in this process is its ability to operate at a low pH of below 2, which enhances the deposition quality and adherence of the metal layer. The inclusion of PABS not only facilitates metal ion reduction without the need for external electrical currents but also ensures a smooth and durable finish. The use of metals such as silver, gold, copper, and nickel further broadens the functional and aesthetic applications of this technology.

By simplifying the metal plating process and reducing the need for hazardous chemicals, Earth Science Laboratories’ method stands as a safer, more efficient alternative to traditional techniques. This advancement not only improves manufacturing efficiency but also contributes to environmental sustainability, setting a new standard in the field of metal coating technology.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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