Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

additive manufactured part is corroding

additive manufactured part is corroding

additive manufactured part is corroding

We made a part from ULTEM 9085 using additive manufacturing and then electroplated it with copper. It didn't take long for the darn thing to start corroding. Does anybody know what the heck is happening?

RE: additive manufactured part is corroding

Have you used solid parts in 9085 with Cu plating?
How smooth was the surface? Did you do any secondary operations to the surfaces before plating?
My first thought is that it is related to porosity in the AM part.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: additive manufactured part is corroding

I'd agree with Ed. If you didn't do something to seal up the porosity inherent in the AM process, you probably left behind plating solutions in the interstitial pores, and have other areas where bubbles from the part being submerged in plating solution left unplated areas at the surface.

RE: additive manufactured part is corroding

First of all, thanks to you both for your replies. Porosity was what I expected as I have seen things like this happen when beryllium copper was plated with gold without an intermediate plating of something such as nickel. Ed - there was no special operation to smooth or seal the Ultem before the plating. Would you guys say that the copper is diffusing into the Ultem. I did not know that Ultem could corrode. Do you think an intermediate nickel plate would help?
thanks again,

RE: additive manufactured part is corroding

The ultem is not likely corroding, the copper plating is being attacked by salt-assisted corrosion from the plating solutions that were absorbed into the part, then weeped back out and slowly dried in contact with the copper. Use a sealer of some type on the part prior to plating, preferably a vacuum resin impregnation followed by whatever cure cycle the resin mfgr. suggests.

RE: additive manufactured part is corroding

I am not sure that it would work with 9085, but it is common to solvent wash AM parts to smooth the surfaces and remove any 'lightly adhered' surface material. This is then followed by a post-cure and dry/outgas cycle (sometimes warm with a little vacuum). Maybe you could do this and then incorporate a seal step at the end.
Plating solution trapped under the Cu is also my best guess.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close