Integran News Blog
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.
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.
UMECO posted the press release below for our Nanovate NV coated (aka Nanovar) composite tooling for high lifespan aerospace carbon fiber composite part production. Although they call the finished product "Carbovar" the idea is the same. We take a fully dense nanocrystalline invar that is near a tool steel for hardness, but has good elasticity, and make it into a very thin (200 microns or 0.008") skin that sits overtop of the carbon fiber face sheet. This means that there is no need to remove voids from the carbon face sheet as the Nanovate coating is providing the entire sealing surface.