The project, managed by Integran Technologies Inc. (Integran) in collaboration with Cirrus Materials Science (Cirrus) and Corrdesa, sought to develop an alternative repair technology for worn components that is free of chromium and nickel. Based upon previous proprietary developments by the applicants in the area of nanostructured metal and metal-matrix composites applied by electroplating and selective (brush) plating, a materials technology development and optimization program was conducted to specifically target the cost-effective repair of damaged components and structures.
The overall technical objective of the project was to develop and validate an alternative repair technology based on electrodeposited nanostructured cobalt that meets and/or exceeds the properties and performance of (1) electroplated nickel coatings in both Class 1 (corrosion protection) and Class 2 (engineering plating) applications, as specified in military and aerospace standards for bulk component plating such as MIL-STD-868A and AMS-QQ-N-290; (2) electrolytic hard chrome coatings per AMS-QQ-C-320; and (3) for selective plating, repair, and rebuilds as outlined in MIL-STD-865C.
To develop a nanocrystalline cobalt-phosphorous alloy to meet the above requirements, the primary technical objectives of the project were as follows:
The project concentrated on five tasks to address the project objectives:
The overall project breakdown is: the first task was aimed at optimizing the nCoP matrix; the second task involved the investigation of co-deposition of second phase particles in the nCoP matrix to enhance mechanical properties; and the third task involved the design and development of nCoP and nCoP-particle brush plating system suitable for repair operations and consequent scale up for the fourth task and validation testing in the fifth task. The findings of every task were used in the development of the succeeding tasks.
Integran, in collaboration with Cirrus and Corrdesa, successfully completed Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) Project WP-2609, in which a cost-effective nCoP composite alloy was successfully developed for the repair and refurbishment of damaged components for use within the US Department of Defense (DoD). Validation testing performed in the project demonstrated that the novel nanostructured composite coatings meet and/or exceed the properties and performance of electroplated nickel coatings and Electrolytic Hard Chrome (EHC) and can be successfully applied to steel and aluminum components. The development efforts in the project built upon the core Nanostructured Cobalt-Phosphorus technology that was successfully demonstrated and validated at the Fleet Readiness Center - Southeast (FRC-SE) in Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) Project WP-200411.
In terms of overall benefits, the report states the following in regards to EHC replacement and nickel replacememt: