ASETSDefense 2012: Sustainable Surface Engineering for Aerospace and Defense, the latest in a series of workshops covering alternative coatings and surface treatments, was held August 28-30, in San Diego, California. The workshop fostered information exchange between research organizations, chemical and coating formulators and manufacturers, aerospace/defense repair facilities, and weapons systems and aircraft manufacturers. Topics included the performance and implementation of environmentally friendly coating and surface treatment alternatives.

Environmental and health regulations in the United States and laws such as REACH and RoHS in Europe are leading to the loss or restriction of an increasing number of chemicals that are currently used in coatings and surface treatments applied to aerospace and defense systems and components. The need for alternatives that do not have environmental, safety, or occupational health issues, yet are able to match or exceed the performance of currently used materials, is becoming increasingly acute.

ASETSDefense 2012 covered all aspects of alternative coatings and surface treatments including:

  • Impact of U.S. and European environmental and health regulations on defense acquisition and sustainment
  • Cadmium alternatives for components, fasteners, and connectors
  • Hexavalent chromium alternatives for pretreating, anodizing, sealing, and primers
  • Light metal protection, aluminum and magnesium anodizing, anodize sealing and repair
  • Hard chrome plating alternatives
  • Reducing response time to regulatory change
  • Service testing and implementation
  • Beryllium alternatives
  • Coating removal

A focused side meeting on Cadmium Replacement on Electrical Connectors was held on the afternoon of Monday, August 27.

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ASETSDefense—Advanced Surface Engineering Technologies for a Sustainable Defense—is a SERDP and ESTCP initiative that aims to facilitate the implementation of new, environmentally friendly technologies for surface engineering by providing ready access to information and data from RDT&E efforts supported by DoD organizations and the private sector.