A New Environment Friendly Landing Gear Plating Plant for South African Airways 931066

The following paper describes the plant built for electroplating of aircraft landing gear. It highlights the advancements made in regard to material selection, process technology and environmental protection. The newly commissioned plant for South African Airways provides the background and data for this paper.
South African Airways has been involved in aircraft maintenance for over 50 years and its present plating plant is of similar age. The last expansion which included the capability for hardchrome and cadmium plating for landing gear, was installed approximately 25 years ago and reached a stage where the equipment was not capable of treating all types of aircraft used today as well as not having sufficient capacity to service local and regional airlines. Being the largest approved maintenance facility in the region, SAA traditionally attracted requests from African and international airlines to service and maintain their aircraft.
In 1990 Chemserve Trio was approached to conduct a survey of SAA's needs for the short and medium future in electroplating equipment for landing gear overhaul.
The study was carried out and accepted by the airline and the manufacturing contract was awarded to Chemserve Trio in early 1991 with a brief to design a “state of the art” plating plant which could be used into the twenty first century with emphasis on ensuring that our environment was not affected by the potentially harmful chemistry which had to be used.


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