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Electroless Composite Coating


Dear Friends,

I am a student of iit Bombay, India. I am doing B.Tech in material science. Right now I am doing a seminar on the topic Electroless plating of composites. I am not able to find out the name of surface activating and chemicals used for sensitisation . It would be of great help if you could suggest to me some details.


Ashutosh Teari
- Mumbai, India


Dear Ashutosh:

On your letter you don't specify if you are dealing with plating on metallic parts or plastic parts. Metallic parts are not referred to as sensitized but "activated" or "catalitic". For instance, stainless steel is not catalytic unless activated by destroying the invisible oxide film on its surface. Copper is more noble than nickel and so is not catalytic either unless started (like the motor of a car).

On the other hand, plastic will never be catalytic, but instead what you do is to implant very tiny particles of catalytic metal on its surface little pores or holes done on purpose to provide some mechanical lock. This is known as sensitization and is done by a chemical reduction of palladium ions from adequately prepared solution of salts and by a reductor (normally tin).

Good luck.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

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