Electroforming process and application to micro/macro manufacturing. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol

University of Edinburgh, School of Mechanical Engineering, Edinburgh, UK
CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology (Impact Factor: 2.54). 12/2001; 50(2):499-514. DOI: 10.1016/S0007-8506(07)62990-4


Electroforming is the highly specialised use of electrodeposition for the manufacture of metal parts. This paper describes the process principles and mechanisms of electroforming, outlining its advantages and limitations. A review of modelling and simulation of electroforming and experimental analysis work is also presented. The metals that can be electroformed successfully are copper, nickel, iron or silver, thickness up to 16 mm, dimensional tolerances up to 1 μm, and surface finishes of 0.05 μm Ra. The ability to manufacture complex parts to close tolerances and cost effectively has meant that electroforming has applications both in traditional/macro manufacturing and new micromanufacturing fields. These include tooling; mould making; fabrication of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and the combination of lithography, electroforming and plastic moulding in the LIGA process. Applications in micro-optics and medicine are included.

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    • "Photoresist structures with high-aspect-ratios have been obtained [15]–[17]; however, the metal structures that are made by filling these photoresist molds by electroforming have significantly lower aspect-ratios because of electroforming challenges. These challenges include voids in the deposit [17], nonuniform thickness of deposits [18], long deposition times, and deformation or cracking due to internal stress in the deposit [19], [20]. Deformation from stress is a major obstacle to making HAR metallic devices with freestanding parts [21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: High-aspect-ratio metallic microstructures have a variety of potential applications in sensing and actuation. However, fabrication remains a challenge. We have fabricated nickel microstructures with over 20:1 aspect ratios by electroplating patterned carbon-coated carbon-nanotube forests using a nickel chloride bath. Pulse plating allows nickel ions to diffuse into the interior of the forest during off portions of the cycle. Done properly, this solves the problem of the formation of an external crust, which otherwise blocks nickel deposition in the interior of the structures. Thus, densities of 86 ± 3% of bulk Ni for the composite structures are achieved. Cantilever structures do not yield under load, but break. Measurements of the material properties of this composite material indicate an elastic modulus of GPa and a strength of 400 MPa. We demonstrate the utility of this method with an external field magnetic actuator consisting of a proof mass and two flexures. We achieved 1-mN actuation forces. [2014-0274]
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
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    • "The modified conformal-evaporatedfilm-by-rotation (CEFR) method [9] was used to conformally deposit a ~500-nm-thick film of nickel on the upper surface of the euthanized female EAB. The nickel thin film was then strengthened by electroforming [17] to yield the negative nickel die. The positive epoxy die was made from the negative nickel die using several casting steps and one application of the CEFR method. "
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    ABSTRACT: Polymeric visual decoys of beetle of an invasive species called the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, are highly efficacious in luring and trapping EAB males. Although industrially scalable, the bioreplication process to fabricate these decoys involves several operational steps. In a simpler bioreplication process devised by us, a multi-cavity negative die of nickel is made from an array of several EAB females. This die is used to fabricate multiple decoys simultaneously by casting and thermal curing of poly(dimethyl siloxane). Finally, the decoys are sprayed by first a black paint and then a metallic green paint. The new bioreplication process has considerably fewer operational steps than its predecessor and can be adopted by industry.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Bionic Engineering
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    • "ore , electro - forming was proposed and selected as an alternative solution . The electroforming technique ( Rodia , 1995 ) is widely used in the high - precision production of small components , such as microwave devices , EDM electrodes , and MEMS , or of molds for plastics ( Hou et al . , 2007 ; Hsieh et al . , 2008 ; Johansen et al . , 2000 ; McGeough et al . , ( 2001 ) ; Yarlagadda et al . , 2001 ; Zhu et al . , 2008 ) . The metal typically used in the electroform - ing process is nickel ( Grigore , 2000 ; Yarlagadda et al . , 2001 ) because it simplifies work and enables the creation of mechani - cally resistant thick layers . Nickel also follows the morphology Figure 5 Steps in constructing the Ca"
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    ABSTRACT: Inaugurated in June 2012, the Carapace at Castelbuono Estate Winery in Italy is a highly interesting example of biomorphic architecture. The structure, an artistic creation of world-renowned sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, is reminiscent of a tortoise shell that conveys a sense of protection: the Carapace structure guards wine barriques in the same way that the tortoise carapace protects the animal. Zoomorphic aspects are further exhibited by symbols on the roof, which remind observers of cuttlefish bone, a recurring element in the artistic production of Maestro Pomodoro. The roof was constructed by assembly of single copper plates with a rough surface in accordance with the design of the artist. Therefore, determining the appropriate production process was crucial. Electroforming was selected as the method to achieve a challenging architectural goal.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013
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