Cadmium Replacements

Today’s demanding aerospace applications require well-engineered and proven deposits that pose as little risk as possible to both the operator and the environment. SIFCO ASC’s cadmium replacements are superior quality deposits that can be applied anywhere, in the shop or in the field.

What is cadmium plating?

Cadmium plating is a metallic silver coating that provides excellent corrosion resistance and could be deposited on various materials including steel, copper, iron, brass and aluminum. This is why it was often used in the aerospace industry.

Why is cadmium plating banned?

Cadmium is a highly toxic metal and an IARC Group 2A material that leeches easily, so isn’t environmentally friendly. Under the new European Reach statute, cadmium plating is banned except for certain use cases.

Worldwide, cadmium plating has been removed from almost all commercial uses. The only remaining uses are aircraft and military applications, however it’s expected these will be phased out too. 

This is why cadmium alternatives, like Zinc-Nickel are used for many cases instead. 

Cadmium alternatives: 

For the aircraft industry, Zinc-Nickel LHE and Tin-Zinc are less toxic alternatives to cadmium that can be used to repair damaged cadmium, zinc-nickel, tin-zinc, and damaged IVD aluminum on high strength steels. Both deposits provide excellent corrosion protection and are LHE, and do not require a post-plating, hydrogen embrittlement relief bake.

Deposit Data

Zinc-Nickel LHE Tin-Zinc 4019
Composite 8-12% Ni 80% Sn : 20% Zn by weight
Structure Microporous Microporous
Corrosion Resistance 120 hours (ASTM B 117) 96 hours (ASTM B 117)
Average Hardness 132 HV 17 HV
Maximum Thickness 0.005 inch 0.005 inch
Plating Rate 0.043 inch/hr 0.007 inch/hr
Micrograph Cadmium Replacements Cadmium Replacements

Related Resources

SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts is your vital resource for enhancing, repairing or refurbishing critical components through selective electroplating. The SIFCO Process® is the leading method of selective electroplating localized areas on components without the use of an immersion tank. We provide contract services, chemical solutions and equipment for surface enhancement to improve component performance, minimize downtime and reduce manufacturing costs. To learn more, choose from any of these related resources.

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