Fusing plastic to metal

Hi guys:

I have an application where I am gluing thick sheets of conductive UHMW plastic to a sheet of stainless steel. There must be complete electrical contact over the entire interface. I use a conductive epoxy that is filled with silver and is thus very expensive.

Is there a way to fuse the plastic directly to the metal using heat? Can it be done with the two existing sheets, or perhaps some process during the manufacture of the plastic sheet?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Don Kansas City

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Don A. Gilmore
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I'm assuming that the UHMW polymer is PE. If it is PP, the same remarks apply. If it is something else, let me know and I may or may not have to change my remarks.

Polyethylene doesn't like to stick to much of anything, and vice versa. The chains crystallize - form a regular packing pattern - whereas adhesion relies on amorphous chains - randomly packing like a plate of spaghetti. Heat will soften the crystals, but as they cool, they will go back to being crystalline again and thereby nonadhesive.

Can you treat corona or flame treat the surface of the PE? Doing so oxidizes the surface and makes it easier for the epoxy to bond to it. Your still stuck with using epoxy, but you should have improved adhesion.

John Aspen Research, -

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