A New Coating Method and Apparatus To Reduce Waste and Hazards in PlatingEPA Contract Number: 68D00205
Title: A New Coating Method and Apparatus To Reduce Waste and Hazards in Plating
Investigators: Sunthankar, Mandar
Small Business: IonEdge Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 2000 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $225,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2000) Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Environmental and occupational hazards in chromium electroplating are well known. The dry plating process developed at the IonEdge Corporation offers an environmentally safer alternative to this conventional process as demonstrated in the Phase I project. Commercially acceptable quality coatings of chromium have been deposited in the absence of liquid chemicals, and the process is occupationally safer without vapors and fumes. These laboratory results have generated interest in the commercial sector, and a prototype demonstration is needed for the identified customers.
Consequently, the Phase II objective is to develop a prototype for batch-plating external surfaces of industrial components. A bench-top unit that was developed in Phase I will be scaled up for chromium plating a reasonable number of commercial parts at a coating rate better than that of the conventional method. Further research will be conducted to meet the customers' expectations of the coating quality and process economics. In addition, process repeatability will be assured by running the equipment for the identified customers. Finally, particulate emissions will be measured to ensure occupational safety, and a cost and environmental benefit analysis will be performed.
Chromium is extensively used in the defense, automotive, and appliance industries to provide surface hardness, wear protection, and cosmetic appeal to steels and other materials. This novel dry plating process could provide an alternative to the hazardous conventional methods that are in use today and could prevent pollution in a number of operations.