In aerospace and defense, the use of high strength steel is common for structural components like landing gear. While these materials offer good strength, they have poor wear and corrosion surface properties, requiring protective coatings for wear and corrosion resistance to be added to the steel. Engineering hard chrome plating (EHC - also known as engineered hard chrome, functional hard chrome, electrolytic hard chrome and industrial hard chrome plating) is widely used to protect the surface of the steel. Due to increasingly strict regulations on toxic hexavalent chromium emissions, a trend that will undoubtedly continue, production costs are on the rise and there is a huge push to find environmentally benign alternatives.
Integran News Blog
About 10 years ago, Integran embarked on an effort to develop a "green" alternative to toxic hard chrome plating, which became our Nanovate CoP plating process. Nanovate is Integran's line on nanocrystalline metal electroplating processes and "CoP" signifies that the metal is a Cobalt Phosphorous alloy.
We announced yesterday a new patent covering plated plastic products that can withstand repeated, aggressive thermal cycles. Integran can achieve these high levels of adhesion using its state of the art polymer activation processes. Because Integran's customers are often looking for structural reinforcement of polymers, adhesion is critically important in order to effectively spread the loads between the metal exoskeleton and the polymer core. This is particularly important for our high performance applications that see significant thermal cycling, as is common is aerospace (lightweight brackets etc.), defense (housings for weight critical airborne optics, weapons and UAVs) and space applications (with heavy thermal cycle loads).
We're excited to talk about a new high end race bike that Cervelo Cycles lauched today. The Rca is Cervelo's newest lightweight, stiff race bike and it features a Nanovate metal toughened composite fork steer tube to maximize toughness, damage resistance and weight of the component.
Today we announced another series of issued patents that protect our "structural plating on plastic" Nanovate NP platform. This approach is used to create lightweight, structural, EMI and magnetic shielded housings for electronics using an injection molded, machined, or rapid prototyped polymer with a structural Nanovate metal electroplated cladding on the outer surface.
We had a press release today that outlined progress we made in broadening our IP specific to biomedical applications. The main focus of the press release was to update everyone on a new patent specific to improving implant (stent) performance by optimizing the implant metal microstructure using our grain boundary engineering (GBE) technology. The press release was as follows:
MuMetal and other high nickel content specialty metal alloys are commonly used for high performance magnetic shielding (aka ELF shielding or H-Field shielding) applications, where high magnetic permeability is important in achieving the maximum magnetic attenuation performance. This is in contrast to high frequency EMI shielding where a merely conductive coating, like silver or copper, will suffice.
Integran Technologies reached a big milestone recently by having our quality systems, which include the production of our high performance electroplated Nanovate metals, certified to the AS9100C:2009 standard. With aerospace manufacturing of a variety of products enabled with our Nanovate metals in our future, pursuing this certification was an easy decision.
The latest issue of Product Finishing Magazine has a great summary article written by Ruben Prado of Navair that looks at performance of Integran's Nanovate CoP process for corrosion and wear protection of steel. This plating process is designed as a direct drop-in hard chrome replacement. It's an electroplated metal with properties that exceed that of hard chrome in many respects. Although the article focussed on some aerospace specific requirements (like fatigue resistance), there are fantasitc industrial, oil and gas and defense applications for the technology.
Today we had a press release about our sales and marketing partnership with Dynatronix - a leading power supply/rectifier company - to assist with commercializing Integran's Nanovate electroplating processes. We've worked with Dynatronix for a long time in their efforts to create leading edge power supply designs and they bring market access to customers across the spectrum of industries that we are interested in.