Exploring the Feasibility of Scaling Up an Environmentally Safe Bright Chrome Application MethodEPA Contract Number: EPD05015
Title: Exploring the Feasibility of Scaling Up an Environmentally Safe Bright Chrome Application Method
Investigators: Sunthankar, Mandar
Small Business: IonEdge Corporation
EPA Contact: Richards, April
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 developed an environmentally safe bright chrome application method for the automotive industry. This application method does not use liquid chemicals, eliminates hexavalent chromium, reduces the number of process steps, and simplifies operating procedures. This method has the potential to substantially reduce manufacturing costs. To realize these cost benefits, however, technology scale-up issues need to be addressed in Phase I. One scale-up task to be completed is increasing chromium coating process throughput. The goal of this research project is to explore the feasibility of advancing the chromium coating method to meet commercial expectations. IonEdge plans to improve cathode design to coat large area objects in large numbers in a short process cycle. The improvements will simplify the cathode design, reduce equipment complexity and cost, improve process control, and allow technology scale up to the level desired.
The decorative chrome finish that has been developed has acceptable appeal and the promising qualities desired in the commercial sector. The technology will be applicable to original equipment manufacturers 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.