Validation of Low Hydrogen Embrittlement (LHE) Alkaline Zinc Nickel Electroplating for Steel and Aluminum Electrical Connectors, Back-Shells and Components

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8501-18-C-0010
Agency Tracking Number: F161-007-0665
Amount: $749,332.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF161-007
Solicitation Number: 2016.1
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-05-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-05-01
Small Business Information
550 West C Street, Suite 1630, San Diego, CA, 92101
DUNS: 127283500
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jay Randolph
 (478) 298-8402
Business Contact
 Doug Wiser
Phone: (801) 928-2769
Research Institution
Many of the US Department of Defense (DOD) electrical connectors, back-shells and components currently contain cadmium (Cd).Cadmium is a known carcinogen.Furthermore, the cadmium is typically conversion coated with a hex-chromate which is also hazardous.Both the cadmium plating process and its subsequent conversion coating have been proven to be toxic (unlike other processes such as chromium plating, where a hazardous process yields a non-hazardous coating).Consequently, in Phase I of AF161-007 ES3 has developed a plating process utilizing LHE alkaline Zn-Ni solution with non-hex chromate conversion coating which can be utilized on electrical components made from both aluminum and steel substrates. The ES3 LHE alkaline Zn-Ni plating process is showing excellent performance results in Phase I based upon feasibility testing to date for adhesion, corrosion protection, lubricity and conductivity testing; producing a coating that performs as good as or better than cadmium plating.In Phase II, ES3 will conduct testing identified in the Phase I effort to accomplish successful development and validation required for future implementation of the LHE alkaline Zn-Ni plating process developed in Phase I of this project for replacing cadmium plating on aluminum and steel electrical connectors, back-shells and components.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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