An electrochemical pretreatment and catalysation process for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene utilising silver(II) chemistry

J. E. Graves, M. T. Goosey, D. Hirst, M. A. Poole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of silver(II) ions in nitric acid was studied using a rotating disc electrode at temperatures of 25°C and a preparative H-type divided cell was used to generate dark brown silver(II) solutions at 50 mA cm-2, 50°C. When acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) samples were etched in this highly oxidising medium, residual silver(I) species trapped within the polymer cavities were reduced to metallic silver with a reducing agent and, upon exposure to an electroless copper solution, deposition was observed. An FM-01LC Laboratory Electrolyser was used to scale-up the process and peel strengths between the ABS substrate and metallic coating were measured. Adhesion equivalent to a chromic acid pretreatment was achieved. Hence a novel process based upon the aqueous electrochemistry of silver(II) has been developed for etching, catalysing and subsequently metallising ABS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-94
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions of the Institute of Metal Finishing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Polymer pretreatment
  • Silver(II)
  • Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene
  • Catalysation
  • Metallisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys

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