Tinker Air Force Base - Oklahoma City, OK
Zinc-Nickel Plating is an environmentally acceptable alternative to cadmium. Cadmium was used in the past to provide sacrificial corrosion protection to steel and high strength steel. Cadmium is the most toxic chemical used in the plating shop and was therefore targeted for substitution. Cadmium tank plating has been eliminated through the use of zinc-nickel alloy plating, Ion Vapor Deposition of Aluminum (IVDAl), and cadmium brush plating.
Zinc-Nickel Alloy Plating is currently in use as a replacement for cadmium plating. It offers three times the corrosion protection of cadmium and is more erosion resistant. Zinc-nickel plating has been used extensively in the automotive industry for many years, and recently this technology has been accepted by the aerospace industry as a replacement for cadmium and nickel cadmium coatings.
OC-ALC has been using zinc-nickel plating since 1991 resulting in a 25% reduction in cadmium plating. This process complements IVDAl, because it can be applied to all geometries including inside diameters.
Technology transfer from the automotive industry identified zinc-nickel as an alternative process to cadmium. This process has resulted in a 25% reduction in cadmium plating and is a key process in the elimination of cadmium tank plating at OC-ALC. The elimination of cadmium tank plating also eliminated the cyanide associated with cadmium plating.