A new coating for aluminum alloys eliminates toxic hexavalent chromium while retaining its anti-corrosion properties, developers say.
The Cr(Vl)-free coatings technology was developed by the North Dakota State University Research Foundation and licensed to Elinor Specialty Coatings of Fargo, ND.
The patented magnesium-rich coatings technology protects aluminum alloys, such as those in vehicles and ship parts, or vehicles made entirely from aluminum.
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NDSU has developed a patented hexavalent chromium-free coatings technology to protect aluminum alloys. Elinor Specialty Coatings has licensed the rights to develop the coatings, Aluma45-MTM and Aluma45-ATM, for marine and automotive applications.
The agreement gives Elinor Specialty Coatings exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize the coatings technology in marine and automotive markets.
Primers using the technology will be marketed to military and civilian markets under the names Aluma45-MTM and Aluma45-ATM. The products are intended to be applied over chromium-free pre-treatments or bare metal, so that hexavalent chromium is eliminated from the entire coating system.
"We are thrilled to see another environmentally friendly coating technology reach the market through Elinor Specialty Coatings," said Dale Zetocha, executive director of the NDSU Research Foundation, which licenses technologies developed at the university.
"It represents a great opportunity to commercialize this coating technology research for these applications through a North Dakota company," Zetocha said.
Reducing Weight, Costs
The coatings' "long-lasting protection allows longer periods between maintenance cycles, while eliminating the toxic work conditions and long-term hazmat storage dilemmas of Cr(Vl) for companies or command units," said Dante Battocchi, chief technical officer of Elinor Specialty Coatings.
Battocchi said the new technology for Aluma45-MTM and Aluma45-ATM had performed as well as chromate formulations in laboratory and field testing.
The university says the coatings may:
Reduce costs by eliminating the need for extra controls to reduce chromate exposure, and
Reduce weight and fuel consumption, due to their lower density than chromate primers.
The coatings were developed in part by previous research funding from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research; the Center for Surface Preparation, a state Economic Development Center of Excellence at NDSU; and the Product Design Center at NDSU.
More information: Elinor Corp.