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Functional Chrome Coatings on Hard to Access, Internal Surfaces of Industrial Parts from an Environmentally Benign Trivalent Chromium BathEPA Contract Number: EPD11044
Title: Functional Chrome Coatings on Hard to Access, Internal Surfaces of Industrial Parts from an Environmentally Benign Trivalent Chromium Bath
Investigators: Hall, Timothy
Small Business: Faraday Technology, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: March 1, 2011 through August 31, 2011
Project Amount: $80,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2011) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Innovation in Manufacturing
Faraday Technology, Inc., with the guidance of our commercialization partner, The Boeing Company, proposes a drop-in replacement chrome plating process that can coat complex. hard to access surfaces, such as the interior of landing gear, using an environmentally benign trivalent chromium bath. The proposed green manufacturing process meets the stated EPA needs by improving existing processes while utilizing a novel green approach that reduces pollution. In this Phase I program we will demonstrate: 1) a drop-in replacement green manufacturing process for functional chrome coatings on the interior of cylindrical shafts from a non-toxic trivalent chromium bath, 2) that the coating properties of adhesion, hardness, and wear are similar or better than the properties of a chrome coating from a hexavalent chromium bath, and 3) the economic viability of the non-toxic trivalent chromium plating process as compared to the currently used hexavalent chromium deposition processes. This will establish a strong basis for the Phase II technical and commercialization activities which will involve: 1) continuing efforts from Phase I (e.g. refine coating design and development); 2) providing practical implementation of the coating process on actual representative components provided by our commercial partner, The Boeing Company; 3) conducting life cycle and environmental testing; 4) demonstrating the prototype in accordance with the success criteria developed in the Phase I (e.g. wear tests, metallography study and comparison of coated and uncoated surfaces); and 5) assessing the financial savings of using the FARADAYIC electrodeposition process in terms of reduction of toxic waste and materials during and after coating processing.
Anticipated Results and Potential Commercial Applications:
The proposed Phase I and II programs will result in a green chrome plating process (trivalent chromium) capable of being used as a drop-in replacement to the conventional carcinogenic plating technology (hexavalent chromium). The green chrome coatings will have enhanced or equivalent wear and corrosion resistance as conventional coatings, while demonstrating an ability to coat hard to access surfaces such as the interior of landing gear. This one-size-fits-all approach will demonstrate the flexibility of the FARADAYIC Process for coating complex parts such as gear cylinders, axles, pins, engine shafts, etc. Potential commercial interest will initially be explored in the aerospace industry. However, numerous other opportunities exist in industries such as automotive, machinery, firearms, and fasteners.