Airbus to test chrome coating replacement

Farnborough Air Show » 2008
July 7, 2008, 9:30 AM

Airbus has agreed to start approval testing for a new tungsten carbide-based coating developed by the UK’s Hardide Coatings (Hall 4 Stand E20) as a replacement for chrome coatings. The Airbus trials will last three years. It is the eighth aerospace manufacturer to test the new coating, which is already in use in harsh environments in the oil and gas exploration sector.

The tungsten carbide coating promises excellent wear resistance against abrasion, erosion and corrosion on components made from ferrous and nickel-based alloys. It coats internal surfaces and, according to its developer, offers significant technical and environmental advantages over hard chrome. Independent testing has shown that the new Hardide coating will last 12 times as long as hard chrome.

“The unique wear properties of Hardide and the precise nature of the coating process make it ideal for aerospace applications such as airframe, landing gear, positive locking systems, engine components and actuator-related products,” said Hardide Coatings managing director Neill Ricketts. “It is also a cleaner process with less environmental impact than other coating technologies.”

Hardide is already used by BAE Systems as a coating for the overhead canopy locking system on the Eurofighter Typhoon. The company hopes the latest trials will lead to it being specified for more aerospace applications.

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