Session Details

Session 9: Aerospace/Defense/Military Zinc Nickel Advancements

Abstract Number:


The following list benefits USAF/ES3 expects from this project:‎
• Reduce/eliminate the amount of abrasion and galvanic ‎corrosion damage that the HSS landing gear/aircraft ‎components are exposed to.‎
• Eliminate health exposure concerns of HF acid and meet ‎OSHA emission regulations and reduce the legal liabilities ‎associated with plating, worker safety, and health, disposal ‎‎(cradle to grave and beyond), etc.‎
• Cost savings by reducing the amount of condemned ‎landing gear/aircraft components and hazardous waste ‎disposal.‎


Aerospace / Defense / Military
Advances in Surface Finishing ‎Technology

During the overhaul process of aircraft and landing gear at Hill AFB, various high strength ‎‎(HSS) aircraft components must have surface plated coatings periodically replaced. Some of ‎those coatings include chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), and low hydrogen ‎embrittlement Zinc-Nickel (LHE Zn-Ni). To achieve acceptable adhesion properties from the ‎plated coatings, the HSS surface must be activated, and all corrosion/contamination must be ‎removed by grit blast. Additionally, grit blasting, if not done properly, can be abusive to HSS ‎landing gear/aircraft components and contaminated grit can cause galvanic corrosion. After ‎which, some plating process requires that 300M HSS components, which have a higher silica ‎content, have additional activation in an ammonium bifluoride H2SO4/NH4HF2 bath. Phase I ‎Project investigation showed successful surface activation using various surface activation ‎technologies. The two most promising technologies were aqueous cleaning using ultrasonics, ‎with Dipsol LHE Activator and MacDermid MaxPro solutions. Consequently, during this ‎Phase II project, USAF/ES3 completed the research necessary to demonstrate the selected ‎technologies of Dipsol LHE Activator solution and MacDermid MaxPro solutions ‎could replace the current surface activation process as an alternative surface activation ‎technology that would be safer for plating personnel and less abusive to landing ‎gear/aircraft components.‎


Chad Hogan

Engineering Lead

U.S.A.F. Landing Gear Systems