This SERDP and ESTCP webinar focuses on DoD-funded research efforts to develop technologies to prevent corrosion on DoD components. Specifically, investigators will cover two methods for preventing corrosion, a series of cold spray coatings to replace chromium and nickel plating and a low hydrogen embrittlement alkaline zinc-nickel electroplating system. 


Cold Spray Coatings for Chromium and Nickel Plating Replacement by Dr. Isaac Nault (WP19-5120

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has developed a series of cold-sprayable hexavalent chromium-free materials designed to offer similar performance metrics as chromium and nickel plating. These materials were developed to address widespread DoD efforts to minimize hexavalent chromium usage, as exemplified by the 2009 memorandum Minimizing the Use of Hexavalent Chromium. For this project, ARL evaluated nine cold spray ‘recipes’ (a combination of four feedstock materials, two spray gasses, and three nozzle types) in an extensive test matrix involving 11 types of test coupons, including hardness, adhesion, corrosion, wear, and fatigue. Further, ARL demonstrated the application of the coatings on five real DoD components in collaboration with three DoD overhaul and repair facilities. This presentation will outline the performance metrics and pros/cons of each of the nine cold spray recipes. The presentation will also discuss challenges encountered during the transition of the technology to the overhaul facilities and the effectiveness of strategies ARL used to address these challenges. 

“Installation and Implementation of LHE Alkaline Zn-Ni Electroplating at Robins AFB Depot” by Mr. Greg Liscombe and Mr. Casey Jones (WP20-5046

Low hydrogen embrittlement (LHE) alkaline zinc-nickel (Zn-Ni) is rapidly replacing cadmium throughout the DoD. Through years of development by ES3 under SBIR Topics AF071-320 and AF081-101, LHE alkaline Zn-Ni has been shown to equal or exceed cadmium performance in corrosion prevention, hydrogen embrittlement, adhesion, and durability. Robins AFB depot has installed an LHE alkaline Zn-Ni plating line into the advanced metal finishing facility (AMFF) as a cadmium replacement. ESTCP is supporting this effort through funding the quality control testing and demonstration/validation of the plating through conversion of several parts from cadmium to LHE alkaline Zn-Ni. These parts represent both USAF and joint service platforms within the DoD, including the C-5 Galaxy (USAF), H-60 Blackhawk (multiservice), and C-130 Hercules (multiservice). Notably, the Robins AFB LHE alkaline Zn-Ni production plating line will be the first with large-scale (3,000+ gallon) automated system capability. Additionally, the implementation benefits of LHE alkaline Zn-Ni at Robins AFB will result in reduced exposure for workers to toxic cadmium, cyanide, and hexavalent chrome, as well as reductions in toxic waste stream chemicals. 

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Isaac Nault is a physical scientist and subject matter expert in cold spray technology in the Manufacturing Science and Technology Branch of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory located in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. He is a principal investigator of projects funded by ESTCP and the Army Manufacturing Technology program related to development and applications of cold spray technology. He has participated on expert panels and in road-mapping sessions related to the adoption and utilization of cold spray technology within the DoD. He provides technical direction to ARL’s university and industry collaborators on cold spray research ranging from fundamental to applied, and leverages results to support ARL’s cold spray projects. Dr. Nault’s research interests include cold spray of multi-phase materials, robotically enhanced cold spray, defect prediction and mitigation, and toolpath planning for cold spray additive manufacturing. Dr. Nault received a doctoral degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. 

Mr. Greg Liscombe is a Technology Development and Hazardous Material Reduction (HMR) engineer with the Air Force Sustainment Center Engineering Directorate (AFSC/EN) located at Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex (WR-ALC). He manages multiple technology development and demonstration/validation projects through SBIR, ESTCP, and NDCEE with a focus on HMR during aircraft maintenance processes. Mr. Liscombe previously served as an industrial engineer supporting aircraft and commodities maintenance at WR-ALC working on facilities, equipment, and process improvement projects. He received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in business administration from Florida Tech. 

Mr. Casey Jones is the Materials and Processes Manager at ES3’s Southeast Operations in Warners Robins, Georgia. He has been working in corrosion prevention and control in the defense aerospace industry for 13 years. Mr. Jones oversees and develops new projects related to organic and inorganic coating development, hazardous material removal from the aerospace industry, sustainable methodologies for removal of coatings, and testing associated with technology insertion into defense applications. He has served as principal investigator on several SERDP and ESTCP projects since 2016, and currently works on various ESTCP projects as a defense contractor. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in business administration from Mercer University.