Session 9: Aerospace/Defense/Military Zinc Nickel Advancements
The benefit of these efforts has led to the design of a closed-loop electrolyte system which allows a dripless localized application of anodic coatings. This technology can also be used with other brush electroplating processes. The benefit to certifying zinc-nickel selective repair technologies is the reduction of toxic chemicals such as cadmium and hexavalent chromium.
Corrosion or Wear Deposits/Coatings
Anodizing is a surface finishing process used to increase the thickness, corrosion protection, and wear of a natural oxide layer on the surface of aluminum. Selective anodize allows an area to be anodized without full tank immersion. This is beneficial due to reduced cost, TAT, and the ability to apply or repair an anodic coating without disassembly. The largest set back with the selective anodize process has been the need for a flow-through cathode as well as electrolyte temperature control requirements. These setbacks led to the design of selective electroplating technology improvements (SETI) performed under a recently completed small business innovative research (SBIR) project.
Similar needs exist for recently NAVAIR-qualified zinc-nickel electroplating processes. NAVAIR has initiated a new SBIR project to certify zinc-nickel selective repair technologies. This SBIR will focus on optimizing corrosion, hydrogen embrittlement, and fatigue performance testing. This maintenance technology capability benefits fleet and depot level maintainers for the localized repair of existing zinc-nickel or cadmium coatings. The development and integration of zinc-nickel brush electroplating will play a key role in continuing the reduction of toxic chemicals such as cadmium and hexavalent chromium.