International Journal of Plastics Technology

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 297–312 | Cite as

Environmental friendly electroless copper metallization on FDM build ABS parts

  • Sushanta Kumar Sahoo
  • Anshuman Kumar Sahu
  • Siba Sankar Mahapatra
Research Article


In this paper, environment-friendly electroless metallization of copper (Cu) on acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene (ABS) parts fabricated through fused deposition modelling route of rapid prototyping process has been proposed. The metallization process eliminates etching as well as the use of high cost palladium (Pd) for activation. For surface preparation, aluminium (Al)-enamel paste has been used. Five different acidic baths are used for electroless Cu deposition. Each bath contains 15 wt% copper sulfate (CuSO4) solution and 5 wt% of any one solution among hydrofluoric acid (HF), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), phosphoric acid (H3PO4), nitric acid (HNO3) and acetic acid (CH3COOH). Metallization of Cu on ABS part has been made at different deposition time (2, 24, 48 and 72 h) in ambient condition. After successful deposition of Cu, the surfaces are characterized by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry. Adhesion assessment of samples in different baths has been made. It is observed that all baths are capable of formation of Cu crystals on ABS surface. However, superior deposition on surface in terms of electrical conductivity and uniformity in deposition surface is obtained in HF, H2SO4 and H3PO4 baths.


Acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene (ABS) Fused deposition modelling (FDM) Electroless metallization Conductivity Adhesion 


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Copyright information

© Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sushanta Kumar Sahoo
    • 1
  • Anshuman Kumar Sahu
    • 2
  • Siba Sankar Mahapatra
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyMadrasIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNational Institute of TechnologyRourkelaIndia

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