Gold, silver, and electrum electroless plating on additively manufactured laser powder-bed fusion SlSi10Mg parts: A review

Dana Ashkenazi, Alexandra Inberg, Yosi Shacham-Diamand, Adin Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Additive manufacturing (AM) revolutionary technologies open new opportunities and challenges. They allow low-cost manufacturing of parts with complex geometries and short time-to-market of products that can be exclusively customized. Additive manufactured parts often need post-printing surface modification. This study aims to review novel environmental-friendly surface finishing process of 3D-printed AlSi10Mg parts by electroless deposition of gold, silver, and gold–silver alloy (e.g., electrum) and to propose a full process methodology suitable for effective metallization. This deposition technique is simple and low cost method, allowing the metallization of both conductive and insulating materials. The AlSi10Mg parts were produced by the additive manufacturing laser powder bed fusion (AM-LPBF) process. Gold, silver, and their alloys were chosen as coatings due to their esthetic appearance, good corrosion resistance, and excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. The metals were deposited on 3D-printed disk-shaped specimens at 80 and 90C using a dedicated surface activation method where special functionalization of the printed AlSi10Mg was performed to assure a uniform catalytic surface yielding a good adhesion of the deposited metal to the substrate. Various methods were used to examine the coating quality, including light microscopy, optical profilometry, XRD, X-ray fluorescence, SEM–energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), focused ion beam (FIB)-SEM, and XPS analyses. The results indicate that the developed coatings yield satisfactory quality, and the suggested surface finishing process can be used for many AM products and applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number422
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Additive manufacturing
  • AlSi10Mg
  • Electroless deposition
  • Gold–silver coatings
  • Laser powder bed fusion
  • Surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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