HVOF as an alternative for hard chrome plating

28 July, 2022

IGW Industry has been manufacturing high precision gears for years. Our parts require a very detailed approach and end up in applications for heavy industries. Therefore, our parts do not only need high precision manufacturing, but they also have to be wear-resistant.

A way to make our metal parts more wear-resistant is to chrome plate them. This means that we apply a thin layer of chromium to our parts through a galvanic process. This makes our parts rustproof, more wear-resistant and even makes them look more appealing. Our parts often end up in applications that expose them to gasses that cause corrosion. To prevent this, a lot of customers ask to chrome plate our parts. However, the process of chrome plating involves a lot of chemicals that are toxic. Furthermore European legislation will banish in a short period the use of toxic Cr6, which will make it impossible to apply certain hard chrome layers in the future.

HVOF as a solution

We want to eliminate risks as much as possible. Because chrome plating is an essential part in our manufacturing process to guarantee the quality of some of our products, we can’t just eliminate this technique at once. However, IGW always wants to improve and that is why we have been looking for alternatives.

That is how HVOF-coatings (high velocity oxygen fuel) came on the radar. This process gives our parts the same benefits as traditional chrome plating, but without the exposure to toxic chemicals in the process.

In the HVOF process, we project powder at a high speed and high temperature onto the rotating part. The heat is generated by mixing the powder with kerosene, which is ignited during the application. This creates the coating on our pieces and gives them the same benefits as chrome plating. Today, we use this technique for a couple of our parts in the turbo compressor market.

We are excited to implement this excellent and safe technique throughout our entire manufacturing process.

IGW has implemented this process in collaboration with several suppliers and our main customers. All parts have been validated according to the most strict requirements and in the mean time first serial deliveries have been made. With this new technology, we are future proof and have eliminated the use of hazardous materials.