Management of Engineering and Technology
From razor thin tool blade coatings to shiny custom motorcycle parts, hexavalent chromium (Hex-chrome) has historically been the coating of choice for a vast array of industrial applications. Hex-chrome has many advantages over other coating alternatives including hardness, corrosion resistance, coefficient of friction, process maturity, and economic factors. Existing Hex-chrome process technologies are simple and well understood in the industry. Recent reports and media coverage have brought Hex-chrome into the spotlight. Increased environmental and regulatory pressure on existing Hex-chrome has created a need for companies to investigate alternative coatings. In 1988  Hexavalent Chromium was declared a carcinogen and since has received additional scrutiny and regulation. Recent advances in coating technologies and process methods look to provide feasible alternatives to existing processes while providing Hex-Chrome free options. However, evaluating these potential alternatives is difficult as information from vendors is not easily obtained the decision process is not well documented. In this project, the team provides a history of hard chromium coatings. We discuss the issues emanating from hard chromium and traditional application processes. Various alternatives are discussed in detail, many of which are considered “Nano-coatings” due to their tiny architecture and deposition methods.
Tucker, David; Eastham, James; Smith, Joe; and Varma, Sumir, "Hexavalent Chromium Substitution" (2011). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 674.