One of the most widely used coatings in the world, is hard chrome as it exhibits unique properties that help prevent wear and corrosion. The annual cost of corrosion alone is estimated to account for 3.1% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Protective coatings help to reduce the cost of these deleterious mechanisms and thus are popular engineering solutions. However, hard chromium faces many problems: EU restrictions due to the use of hexavalent chromium; health issues for the plating industry personnel due to associated cancers; functional defects of the coatings; and, the low current efficiency in plating. There is therefore an urgent need to find an alternative which is the ultimate aim of this exciting new project.
About this Research Programme
Research for SMEs Associations aims at developing technical solutions to problems common to a large number of SMEs in specific industrial sectors or segments of the value chain, through research that could not be addressed under Research for SMEs. Projects must be driven by the SME associations, which are given the opportunity to subcontract research to RTD performers in order for them to acquire the necessary technological knowledge for their members. Projects must have clear exploitation potential and economic benefits for the SME members of the associations involved.
The total annual estimated direct cost of corrosion, not including wear damage, in the world is estimated at about 3.1% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Protective coatings serve to prevent wear and corrosion and thus reduce the total loss from corrosion and wear. Hard chromium plating is one of the most widely used techniques for production of such coatings. However, hard chromium faces many problems: EU restrictions due to use hexavalent chromium, health issues for the plating industry personnel due to cancers events, functional defects of the coatings and low current efficiency. Thus, there is an urgent need to substitute chrome plating with an alternative one that could provide the same or even enhanced benefits that chrome has, without causing the above problems.
The target of the project is to eliminate the use of hard chromium plating in European electroplating industry by delivering a suitable alternative, which will be the nano structured Ni-P and Ni-P composite coatings (with SiC or WC as reinforcing nanoparticles).
The successful outcome of the HardAlt project will lead to the restriction or even elimination of the use of hexavalent chromium in electrodeposition industry and will not be subjected in EU legislations. As HardAlt coatings will present equal or even enhanced functional properties compared to hard chrome, they will be adopted by the metal working industry in applications where wear and corrosion resistance is of crucial importance. Significant benefit will be the customization of the HardAlt coatings in the need of each application using the same bath leading to raw materials saving and minimization of wastes from electroplating industry.
Contact us to discuss your needs.
We’re always here to help. If you’re interested in any of our services please give us a call or fill out the contact form and we’ll assist in any way we can.