Coating could replace hard chrome in aerospace applications

Hardide Coatings has successfully completed the first of two test phases to approve its new hard facing coating on an application for AgustaWestland.

"The coating has tested extremely well so far as an alternative to hard chrome for aerospace and valve applications," said Philip Kirkham, Hardide's ceo. "The first phase results from AgustaWestland are positive and we are making good headway on the application tests."

Hard chrome plating, which is widely used in the aerospace and defence industries, is soon to be restricted under EU REACH and US OSHA legislation due to the use of highly toxic hexavalent chromium salts.

During testing, the new Hardide coating demonstrated a better high cycle fatigue endurance than hard chrome – a very important characteristic for aerospace applications - and exceptionally good corrosion resistance when exposed to a salt-fog environment.

The second test phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2013 and, if successful, the Hardide coating will be approved for use on a specific AgustaWestland helicopter rotor blade component.

Laura Hopperton

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