Presented August 17, 2017- Presentation Slides


“Zinc Nickel Replacement Technology for Cadmium" by Mr. Tom Naguy

Cadmium has been widely used in the aerospace industry and the Department of Defense (DoD) due to its excellent corrosion resistance, adhesion, and lubricity characteristics. However, cadmium is a toxic metal and human carcinogen and is heavily regulated in the United States and the European Union. The aerospace community has spent years and a significant amount of money developing technologies to replace cadmium in plating and brush plating processes for aerospace parts and critical structural components. Replacing cadmium in plating and brush plating processes has proved technically challenging and has left many in the community accepting the health and environmental risks associated with cadmium. However, recent developments with zinc nickel formulations are a significant step forward in the elimination of cadmium. The new Low Hydrogen Embrittlement zinc-nickel (LHE Zn-Ni) process enables aerospace manufacturing to meet environmental restrictions by replacing cadmium plating. LHE Zn-Ni is applicable to major structural components of aircraft, such as landing gear, as well as consumables such as pins, bearing, bushings, and bolts. Zinc-nickel brush plating can be also used to repair worn and corroded parts, in many cases while the components are still installed on the aircraft.

"Overview of Low Hydrogen Embrittlement Zinc-Nickel Plating Qualification and Implementation on Landing Gear Components" by Mr. Craig Pessetto

This presentation describes ESTCP research to develop a viable drop-in alternative for cadmium plating to reduce DoD’s liabilities and costs. The focus was on landing gear components manufactured from high strength steel alloys that require sacrificial protective coatings to perform safely in service. During this project, an experimental LHE Zn-Ni was tested and qualified as a replacement for cadmium. Test results showed that the LHE Zn-Ni performed as well or better than cadmium in the areas of corrosion, sulfur dioxide corrosion, fatigue, hydrogen embrittlement, re-embrittlement, and adhesion testing. Consequently, a LHE Zn-Ni plating specification was developed and a full-scale prototype LHE Zn-Ni plating line was installed at Hill Air Force Base. The process and challenges of qualifying and implementing the use LHE Zn-Ni plating on United States Air Force high strength steel landing gear components will be described.

"Cadmium-Free Alternatives for Brush Plating Repair Operations" by Mr. Randy Straw

Eliminating cadmium in brush plating repair operations reduces personnel exposure and hazardous waste generation. This ESTCP project had the following objectives: (1) Demonstrate a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Dalistick Station for selective brush plating, and (2) Test, evaluate and qualify the COTS Zinidal Aero Zn-Ni brush plating coating as a cadmium replacement on weapon systems parts and components. The Dalistick Station is a closed-loop mobile electroplating system that enables selective electrochemical treatments without leakage of solutions during plating process. The Dalistick Station recovers residual surface activation and brush plating solutions at the point of contact with the part and recycles them for re-use. This reduces solid waste associated with adsorbents used to contain solution leakage and eliminates personnel exposure to hazardous solutions typical with traditional brush plating repair processes. The Zinidal Aero Zn-Ni coating solution, also manufactured by Dalic, is a promising candidate to replace cadmium plating. The Zinidal Aero Zn-Ni solution deposits a coating with 10-20% weight Ni and 80-90% weight Zn at varying thicknesses. The coating provides sacrificial corrosion protection to steels, and the process does not require the hydrogen embrittlement relief baking, when plated on high strength steel.


Speaker Biographies

Mr. Tom Naguy  is currently the Deputy Technical Director for Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC)'s Logistics and Sustainment Directorate at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. In this position, Tom develops life cycle product support policy and enterprise sustaining engineering policy for Air Force weapon systems. His areas of responsibilities include transitioning and implementing technologies to reduce and eliminate the use of hazardous materials in weapon systems. In addition, he is a key member of the Air Force’s Additive Manufacturing implementation program. Tom has extensive expertise with materials and process engineering, specifically in the areas of coatings, laser depainting, and corrosion technologies. Tom also serves on the AFMC Energy and Environmental executive committees. He is a member of the DoD Joint Technology Exchange Group and the SERDP and ESTCP Committees for Weapon Systems and Platforms. Previously to this current assignment, he was the Program Manager for the Environmental and Energy Program and the Advanced Power Technology Office at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Tom earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemical engineering. His professional military education includes the Air War College, National Defense University's National Security Course, Air Command and Staff College, and Squadron Officer School.


Mr. Craig Pessetto is a senior materials and process engineer with ES3 in Clearfield, Utah. Craig’s current research focuses on eliminating the use of environmentally hazardous materials, such as cadmium and hexavalent chromium, on high strength steel (HSS) aircraft components. He has served as the Principal Engineer on ESTCP and Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects focused on finding and implementing a viable sacrificial protective coating replacement for cadmium. His project won the ESTCP 2015 Weapons Systems and Platforms Project of the Year Award. He has also been the Principal Engineer on other Air Force SBIR projects to develop an environmentally friendly pulse water jet process to strip chromium off HSS landing gear components and a Magnetron Sputtering process to rebuild the internal diameters of landing gear outer cylinders made from high strength aluminum. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah and he holds a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Utah. 


Mr. Randy Straw is a Product Support Specialist assigned to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Product Support Engineering Division. He performs technical and program management activities in the areas of aerospace-related materials and processes and pollution prevention research, development, test and evaluation. He has served as the Principal Investigator on several ESTCP projects related to laser depaint and alternative coatings. Randy retired from the United States Air Force with over 19 years of aircraft maintenance experience specializing in aircraft and ground support equipment corrosion control and protective coatings. He earned his bachelor’s degree in logistics management from Park University and associates degrees in metals technology and business management.