Environmentally Safe, Economical Bright Chrome Application Technology for the Automotive IndustryEPA Contract Number: EPD05016
Title: Environmentally Safe, Economical Bright Chrome Application Technology for the Automotive Industry
Investigators: Sunthankar, Mandar
Small Business: IonEdge Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: March 1, 2005 through August 31, 2005
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2005) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste
IonEdge Corporation has been developing and commercializing environmentally safe metal coating methods and equipment for several years. Recently, the company has developed a decorative bright chrome finish with acceptable appeal and promising qualities desired in the automotive sector. This application technology does not use liquid chemicals, eliminates hexavalent chromium, reduces the number of process steps, and simplifies operating methods, resulting in substantial cost reduction in manufacturing. Preliminary laboratory tests indicate promising properties in terms of brightness, adhesion, and durability. Potential customer response indicates that the chrome has appeal equal to conventional chrome.
The purpose of this research project is to develop the process further to reduce defects, improve yield and process repeatability, and qualify the chrome for required automotive specifications. The data generated by this research will help accelerate commercialization of the technology in the automotive and other consumer sectors.
The proposed bright chrome technology will be applicable to original equipment manufactures and aftermarket products worth several hundred million dollars. Typical applications include wheels, bumpers, and automotive trim. The cost-reduction benefit of this technology has the potential to make the United States chroming industry competitive in the global marketplace, especially with Southeast Asia.