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The University of Southampton

Research project: New generation of protective coatings alternative to hard chrome

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European project funded by EC through FP7 focused on replacement of plated hard chrome by electrodeposited Ni-P coatings doped with nanoparticles.

Associated research themes

Materials and Surface Engineering

Related research groups

national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)

The aim of this project is to eliminate the use of hard chromium plating across the European electroplating industry by delivering a suitable substitute, which will be based on nano structured Ni-P and Ni-P composite coatings (with, for example, SiC or BC as reinforcing nanoparticles).

The successful outcome of the HardAlt project will lead to the reduction or even elimination of the use of hexavalent chromium in the electrodeposition industry thereby circumventing EU legislation. As HardAlt coatings will exhibit equivalent or even enhanced functional properties compared to hard chrome, they will be adopted by the metal working industry in applications where wear and corrosion resistance is of critical importance. The three most common applications of Hard Chrome that will be targeted have been identified as:

  • Hydraulic/pneumatic pistons and cylinders
  • Specialized oil and gas exploration equipment
  • Moulds and press tools.

Significant benefit will be the customization of the HardAlt coatings to the need of each application whilst using the same bath thereby leading to savings in raw materials and the minimizing of waste from the electroplating industry.

Image of Hardalt
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