The objectives of this project are to (1) develop 100 kW and 200 kW power supplies capable of producing direct current and low frequency pulse and pulse reverse current and (2) demonstrate that nanostructured cobalt-phosphorus (n-CoP) and zinc (Zn)-based plating processes are not affected by the new design of these power supplies.

Technology Description

This project will design and construct a high power output, lower cost power supply that maintains process critical pulse specifications under a wide range of load conditions without a significant increase in the peak output voltage requirements for the system. The cabling to deliver required performance at various installations will be determined. This power supply will be compliant with global electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and safety standards and easily scaled up. During this project, critical power supply specifications will be developed. The effect of various pulse characteristics on the deposit material properties will also be determined to support optimization of the power supply. A test protocol to verify functionality of the power supply and its compatibility with the nanostructured plating processes will be designed and developed. This project will work to identify large military and industrial components where electrolytic hard chrome (EHC) and cadmium (Cd) plating are currently specified. Operating parameters for the plating of n-CoP and nanocrystalline Zn-based alloys will be developed. The project will demonstrate that the performance of coatings made using this process meet or exceed the incumbent technology and relevant performance specifications through coupon testing. Large components will be coated to test the capabilities of the optimized power supply. In the final phase of the project, an additional power supply will be developed to double the operating currents from the power supply developed earlier in the project without sacrificing pulse performance. Strict compliance with global EMC standards will be ensured.

Implementation Issues

Successful completion of this project will lead to alternative technologies for EHC and Cd coatings that provide enhanced material performance and eliminate the need for the toxic and hazardous Cd and Cr6+ electroplating baths. The nanocrystalline coatings would allow for the retention of numerous benefits associated with EHC and Cd coating technologies (i.e., non-line-of-sight application, excellent adhesion, dimensional consistency, and superior surface finish) and enable the use of existing DoD plating infrastructure, significantly reducing the time and cost to practical implementation. Implementation of these coatings on aircraft and defense-related components should lead to improved performance and lower life-cycle costs. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2013)