A fast and less toxic coating process for aerospace parts could become the subject of further study by a UK aerospace consortium for waste reduction. At last month's inaugural meeting of the Wingnet consortium, the sulphur phosphoric acid process was proposed as one area of research.

The newly patented process is claimed by its developers, Loughborough University and Bombardier, to be greener and more than five times faster than the popular anti-corrosion coating process involving chromic acid. Sulphur phosphoric acid takes 20min while the chromic process takes hours.

"We patented this just the other week and we need to validate it for its effects on the likes of fatigue," says process developer Dr Gary Critchlow, from Loughborough University's Institute of Surface Science and Technology. Critchlow says the aerospace industry is cautious on adopting new processes as the effects on fatigue properties are crucial and testing is expensive.

Wingnet has £3 million ($5.6 million) of funding from the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Some could be used for fatigue testing. Led by the University of Oxford, Wingnet aims to identify common research needs. Grant applications will then be made to the council.

Source: Flight International