In this MID production process, the conductor paths are stamped into the plastic with pressure and temperature using a hot embossed stamp. The process is used primarily on flat surfaces.
Hot-embossing – thermo-mechanical production of conductor paths
The hot-embossing process is mechanically simple and is suitable for all base bodies with smooth surfaces. The process does not allow any three-dimensional MIDs to be processed but the possibilities for two-dimensional products are almost unlimited. To begin with, a metal film is placed on the entire surface to be embossed A hot stamping die structured with the required conductor paths stamps these conductor paths into the material using heat and pressure. The surplus film is then removed using an adhesion technique, so that only the completed conductor paths remain. The final step involves mounting the contacts and/or SMDs as well as testing for functionality.
Advantages and disadvantages of the hot-embossing process
The low cost of tools allows this process to be used for medium-sized production volumes. In addition, the purely mechanical processing of the workpiece using pressure and heat means that deviations in the process are very unlikely. The ampacity can be very easily regulated by the thickness of the metal film. A thicker film means a larger surface area for the current and therefore a higher maximum current. The hot-embossing process can only be used for the production of two-dimensional conductor paths. Three-dimensional MIDs can be produced using laser direct structuring or 2C injection moulding.