Hexavalent Chromium is found in many legacy sealers used during surface finishing processes to prevent corrosion and extend the service life of a Department of Defense (DoD) weapons system. Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen, posing health risks upon inhalation of vapors or dust. Normally, post treatment sealers are required to protect against corrosion and fill in porosity of the surface treatment.
SERDP and ESTCP have continued to invest in research and demonstrations dedicated to reducing or eliminating the use of chromium in processes and materials and providing safe and effective replacements for chromium. While researchers have successfully developed and demonstrated chromium-free alternatives for select processes, identifying a chromium-free sealer that can perform multiple functions would simplify and streamline DoD operations.
In 2021, SERDP selected the following projects to develop chromium-free, high-performance sealers and pretreatments that can be applied across multiple surface finishing processes.
Chromium-free sealers that can be used in a variety of applications could dramatically cut costs for depot operations and eliminate health risks for workers. To learn more about other SERDP and ESTCP efforts to develop and implement chromium-free alternatives across the Services, visit the SERDP and ESTCP website.