Determination of Cyclic Load Limits for Plasma-Sprayed Copper Tracks on Material Extrusion-Based Printed Surfaces

Tanja Stiller, Andreas Hausberger, Michael Berer, Alexander M. Schwan, Andreas Hinterer, Sebastian Spalt, Gerald Gerhard Pinter, Jürgen Markus Lackner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Herein, copper particles are deposited on additively manufactured surfaces and investigations are performed to determine the mechanical properties and the impact of copper tracks on the surfaces. The basic investigation covers quasistatic tests, namely, tensile and three point bending, for three different printing orientations and two infill variations (+45°/−45° and 0°/90°), which shows no remarkable differences. In addition, a copper track is sprayed via atmospheric pressure plasma spraying (APPS) onto the polymeric samples and characterized regarding hardness and electric conductivity. Furthermore, a specific application for the copper track on the polymer substrate is recreated by a cyclic three point bending with a novel sample geometry (T-shaped). The sprayed copper track has 60% of the hardness and 40% of the indentation modulus of bulk copper. Depending on the substrates’ topography, the electric conductivity varies from 7% to 18% of bulk copper. The lifetime of the copper track (i.e., conductivity) is strongly dependent on the deformation and the fracture of the polymer underneath. The underlying failure mechanism is triggered either by the topography of the polymer substrate or as a consequence of the damage in the copper track, leading to superficial cracks in the polymer surface.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2200567
Number of pages12
Journal Advanced engineering materials
Issue number7
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jul 2022


  • atmospheric pressure plasma spraying
  • copper
  • fused filament fabrication
  • polymers

Cite this