Castable plastic mold with electroplatable base

Patent Number: 6,679,471
Issued: 1/20/2004
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: A sacrificial plastic mold having an electroplatable backing is provided as are methods of making such a mold via the infusion of a castable liquid formulation through a porous metal substrate (sheet, screen, mesh or foam) and into the features of a micro-scale master mold. Upon casting and demolding, the porous metal substrate is embedded within the cast formulation and projects a plastic structure with features determined by the mold tool. The plastic structure provides a sacrificial plastic mold mechanically bonded to the porous metal substrate, which provides a conducting support suitable for electroplating either contiguous or non-contiguous metal replicates. After electroplating and lapping, the sacrificial plastic can be dissolved, leaving the desired metal structure bonded to the porous metal substrate. Optionally, the electroplated structures may be debonded from the porous substrate by selective dissolution of the porous substrate or a coating thereon.
Filed: 1/17/2002
Application Number: 10/52,948
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.