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Lhalith Chandran, Speaker at Chemistry Conferences
Anna University, Chennai, India
Title : Advanced trivalent chromium electroplating of ABL, PLA And carbon fibre reinforced biodegradable polymers


1.Introduction: ABL (Acrylonitrile-butadiene lignin) is a new class of renewable thermoplastic from nano structured lignin elastomers made by polymerizing lignin and acrylonitrile in the presence of butadiene. Currently ABS (Acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene) plastic is being widely used in electroplating in Automotive and manufacturing industries. In an Automotive Industries 52340 tonnes of waste is produced per year around the world. ABS is non-biodegradable and produces potentially dangerous wastes if not recycled, it gives of significant fumes/smoke when heated it a major pollutant and a health concern to those who inhale them and will quickly degrade when weathered or placed in high friction environment . So a sustainable alternative to ABS is the use of ABL, Polylactic acid (PLA) and Poly amide Carbon fiber (PACF). Replacing hexavalent chromium with trivalent chromium which is said to be 500 times less toxic than hexavalent chromium. This is the first time that someone has come up with a process in which the substrate used is bio degradable, the electroplated chemical ( Trivalent chromium) is environmentally friendly and the waste water generated in the process is purified in such a way it can be used to water a plant.
2. Experimental Methodology The methodology consists of 3 major steps: a.Molding of the substrate b.Application of silver conductive ink  c.Advanced Trivalent Chromium Electroplating
• ABL is produced by kneading a molten mix of equal parts powdered lignin and nitrile rubber. Source of Lignin is a lignin-rich biomass by product stream from biorefineries and pulp and paper mills. PLA Biodegradable hydrolysable aliphatic semicrystalline polyester. Produced through the direct condensation reaction of its monomer, lactic acid, as the oligomer, and followed by a ring- opening polymerization of the cyclic lactide dimer. It is made from renewable biomass such as fermented corn and sugarcane. PACF has extreme mechanical strength and light in weight. PLA and PACF are made using sophisticated fused deposition modeling (FDM-3D Printing). Our very own made formula of silver conductive ink has the ability to make any surface conductive. The cutting- edge process of electroplating is a meticulous sequence of 23 step sequence.
3. Results and Discussions: The same finish of electroplated surface on PLA and PACF plastic as it would be on ABS was achieved. The PLA and PACF have been coated with copper.

  • ABS has been coated with Trivalent chromium of two types –trichrome white and trichrome black for comparison.
  • The thickness of the coating in PLA and PACF have been measured in XRF Machine.
  • The coating in 3 different areas of the sample has been analyzed.
  • The thickness of the coating differs due to the difference in conductivity. 

4.Conclusion: The electroplated plastic substrate has gone through testing in a sophisticated equipment such as salt spray chamber and plating adhesion test and the process meets conditions as stipulated by international standards. The eco friendly trichrome plating gives a more appealing and smooth electroplated surface than the hexavalent chromium. This approach is an enormous game changer in India’s approach towards G20 summit.
Audience Take Way

  • Audience will learn about cutting edge electroplating technology.

  • Enhanced appearance, durability, and corrosion resistance of Biodegradable polymers.

  • Green chemistry and contribution to lesser emissions.

  • Large industrial scale application.


Lhalith Chandran is a dedicated third-year student pursuing a BTECH in Chemical Engineering at SSN College of Engineering, affiliated with Anna University. With a strong passion for chemical engineering and a solid understanding of engineering principles, Lhalith possesses excellent analytical skills and a keen interest in applying theoretical knowledge to real-world engineering challenges. Lhalith's impressive academic achievements include winning third place at the National Chemical Conference "CHEMference" held at BITS PILANI and receiving high commendations at the International Chemical Conference "ICECEES" at IIT ROORKEE. Lhalith has also conducted research on efficient methods for removing Benzophenone-3 from wastewater to mitigate environmental impacts, showcasing skills in literature review, experimental design, data analysis, and paper writing. Looking forward, Lhalith is eager to continue contributing to innovative solutions in the field of chemical engineering and is seeking opportunities to further develop skills and expertise. With a strong drive and commitment to excellence, Lhalith Chandran is poised to make a significant impact in the engineering industry.