Cavitation Stripping of Hard Chrome Plate
Electroplated hard chrome is used extensively for aerospace and industrial applications because it is wear resistant, corrosion resistant, has a good surface finish and has good adhesion. Naval aircraft use chrome plating on landing gear components because of these characteristics. However these coatings eventually wear and have to be stripped and replaced. Stripping the chrome coating requires the use of acid baths, which generate waste through air borne contaminants, spills, drag-out, and bath fluid disposal after chemical activity is reduced. Naval facilities are faced with increasing costs to comply with regulations concerning these hazardous waste streams. Ormond's solution, demonstrated in Phase I, is to replace these chemical baths with waterjet cavitation stripping which can economically strip hard chrome using only water that can be recycled in a closed loop system. The equipment required is readily available at Navy Repair and Overhaul centers which allows for rapid adoption of the technology at low cost to the government. The process differs from the high pressure waterjet stripping used to remove thermal barrier coatings only in that it uses Ormond's cavitating nozzles to effect rapid coating removal without damage to the substrate. The process is also effective with HVOF coatings.
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