INDEPENDENCE, OH – A new survey from SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC) highlights aerospace specifications and prime’s requirements as the main barriers to the phase-out of cadmium in the U.S. aerospace industry, and suggests more clarity on the topic is still needed.
In recent years, there has been speculation that the U.S. aerospace industry will phase out cadmium by 2023. However, the survey found that only 23% of respondents think they will actually be cadmium-free within the next five years. What’s more, just under half of respondents performing corrosion protection touch-ups and repairs do not feel that they have the necessary resources to make an informed decision on a cadmium alternative. When asked why, 100% cited “lack of credible resources and documentation.”
Even though research indicates that zinc-nickel can be a reliable alternative to cadmium in the aerospace sector, two thirds of respondents who plate cadmium cite aerospace specifications and prime’s requirements as their biggest barriers to phasing it out.
More than 50% of respondents who plate cadmium believe they have no other option for corrosion protection. As one respondent stated, “We are dependent upon what the [original equipment] manufacturer specifies when it comes to corrosion-resistant plating. Until the manufacturer allows alternatives, our hands are tied.” Scott Peterson, Training Manager at SIFCO ASC and a professional who is involved in bringing a cadmium alternative to the OEM and MRO markets, said, “What this survey really shows is that there is much hesitation across the industry on this topic. The majority of respondents who don’t think the deadline will be met say the reason is a lack of alternatives, but we believe that this highlights a need for more knowledge sharing and collaboration to provide the level of confidence needed to make the change.”
To aid the industry in sourcing credible, detailed and up-to-date research on cadmium and its alternatives, SIFCO ASC has created an online Cadmium Knowledge Hub where its technical experts will regularly share a variety of content on the topic such as manufacturer testing reports and academic research papers. The site also encourages any other professionals in the industry to submit their own findings in order to help the industry move forward on this issue. To visit SIFCO ASC’s Cadmium Knowledge Hub, visit www.sifcoasc.com/cadmium-knowledge-hub.