Investigation on electroless copper metallization on FDM built ABS parts

Mohapatra, Bijay Kumar; Sahu, Anshuman Kumar; Mahapatra, Siba Sankar


In this work, metallization of copper on acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) substrate has been fabricated by fused deposition modelling (FDM) using electroless process avoiding chemicals detrimental to environment. Four acidic baths containing five weight percentages of HF, H2SO4, HNO3 and H3PO4 varying copper sulphate (CuSO4) at 10, 15 and 20 weight percentage in each bath has been used for metallization. The metallization process in each bath has continued for seventy two hours. Copper coating obtained on the substrate by the use of different baths has been evaluated for electrical resistance, thickness of copper coated layer, percentage of copper present on the coated surface and adhesion performance. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersion X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) results have indicated that all the baths are quite capable of deposition of copper on ABS substrates. However, HF bath has exhibited superior coating performance as compared to other baths. The thickness of copper coated layer and percentage of copper present in the coated layer has been found to be highest by the use of HF bath with fifteen weight percentage of CuSO4.


Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), Fused deposition modelling (FDM), Copper metallization

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