PRODUCTION OF COPPER-CLAD PRINTED CIRCUIT BARE BOARD SUBSTRATE FROM AGRICULTURAL AND PLASTIC WASTE MATERIALS.
The use of printed circuit board is unavoidable within the electrical and electronic industries. Various types and models exist, all made from synthetic substrates. The environmental impact of discards of printed circuit boards as well as the need to go green globally poses challenges to the printed circuit board manufacturing industry. In the attendant search for wider utility value for agro-waste based particle boards, this work presents the research of utilizing agro-waste based particle boards as virgin substrates for the production of printed circuit board wafers. The agro-waste materials were pre-treated, ground and pressed into boards using a Novalac resin (Melamine- formaldehyde). After cutting to sample sizes, the samples were cleaned and electroless deposition was carried out on the boards using non-precious metal catalyst ( as against the conventional precious metal catalyst-Palladium). Material strength characterization of the boards was carried out to determine the durability of samples when in use. Scanning electron microscopy of the samples showed good deposition and acceptable roughened topography which compared well with that of a commercial grade sample. A simple conductivity test was done with an ammeter to prove the transfer of electrical current at the surface of the substrates. This phase of work concludes that there can be deposition on natural waste materials and that going ‘green’ in the area of circuitry is achievable. Optimization of process conditions will create another niche for the use of conversion products from agro waste discards while giving the products a value-added status.