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Aerospace finishingMacDermid surface preparation and electroplating technology is extensively specified and used for aerospace finishing applications. Examples include:

  • Aluminum conversion coatings to protect and aid paint adhesion for the fuselage
  • Electroless nickel provides protection and wear resistance to engine components
  • Hard chromium electroplating to provide wear resistance for landing gear
  • Surface preparation to prepare the base metals for subsequent coatings
  • Zinc-nickel electroplating to provide sacrificial corrosion protection for fasteners

See the full list of our Aerospace related specifications.


Technology overview


Aluminum conversion coatings

Iridite NCP anAerospace finishingIridite 14-2 provide excellent corrosion resistance to the aluminum alloy.

These coatings can be applied as the final finish or as a primer to improve paint adhesion. Typical applications could include interior and exterior surfaces of an airplane body and mechanical components used in landing gear.

Where magnesium is used, Iridite 15 is the recommended conversion coating.

These products are specified by companies such as AMS, American Airlines, Boeing, General Dynamics, McDonnell Douglas and Pratt & Whitney.

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Surface preparation

Removing oil, grease and general soils from metals such as aluminum, brass, magnesium and steel is a critical step in any surface treatment process. The MacDermid range of Clepo, Isoprep and Metex cleaners are proven to provide a chemically clean surface in the demanding conversion coating, electroplating and pre-paint applications. Aerospace finishing

The range includes:

  • Non-etch cleaners for light metals
  • Etches for aluminum
  • Soak degreasers for ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Electrolytic cleaners for ferrous and non-ferrous metals

These products are extensively specified by the leading aerospace organisations.

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Acid Activation and Alkaline Derusting

Dry acid salts Metex M629 and Alkaline deruster Isoprep 177 are used to remove oxide and activate steel surfaces. The advantages of these products compared to mineral acids are they significantly reduce the potential to induce hydrogen embrittlement into the steel substrate.

Typical applications would be as part of the pre-treatment cycle prior to hardchrome and zinc-nickel electroplating. This is recognized by Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.

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Electroless nickel

ElectroplatingThese deposits may contain up to 13% Phosphorus by weight and unlike normal electroplating processes, they are produced without any externally applied electric current. The coatings are applied to a wide variety of substrates with both simple and complex geometries. electroless nickel  improves characteristics such as appearance, corrosion / wear resistance and magnetic properties.

The following Macdermid  electroless nickel  systems are specified by companies such as AMS, American Airlines, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Pratt & Whitney and Westinghouse.

  • NiKlad 766, 767, 768, 790, 794, 809,1000, 8910
  • Europlate Ni 810
  • Vand-alloy 5000

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HardchromeHardchrome is the leading coating to provide wear and abrasion resistance. Widely used in applications such as suspension and braking systems the hardchrome coating is anti-galling and helps retain oil lubricating films. MacDermid ChromKlad hardchrome are recognized amongst the most technically advanced products available. 

  • ChromKlad 2500 utilizes a non-halogen secondary catalyst to produce smooth, bright and extremely hard (1100-1250 HV 100), microcracked deposits.
  • ChromKlad 1500 is specifically designed to provide a smooth, bright deposit directly over steel or stainless steel substrates.
  • ChromKlad 500, a self-regulating mixed catalyst hard chromium electroplating process that exhibits less edge build up compared to conventional chromium electroplating systems.

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Zinc-nickel electroplating

ElectroplatingThe preferred alloy composition for Zinc-nickel electroplating is 12 – 15% nickel. This alloy gives exceptional sacrificial corrosion resistance and the coating is compatible with light metals such as aluminum and magnesium. Zinc-nickel is typically plated from an alkaline electrolyte to provide excellent alloy and deposit distribution.

Enviralloy Ni 12-15 is approved by Airbus and Enviralloy NiFlex 12 and meets MIL standard 39888 .

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Passivation / Chromate Coatings

MacDermid passivation systems comprise the complete range of hexavalent chromium-free and chromate-based conversion coatings. They meet all existing zinc and zinc alloy passivation requirements.

Today, the market makes particular use of the high performance, thermal shock resistant TriPass ELV passivates. These form an important layer in the ZinKlad hexavalent chromium-free coatings processes.

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