Evaluation of Alternatives to Electrodeposited Cadmium for Threaded Fastener Applications (II)
Cadmium electroplating is coming under increasing pressure due to both environmental and worker safety issues. Since 2005, Alcoa Fastening Systems (AFS) and Lockheed Martin have been conducting a collaborative research program to identify the most appropriate fastener coating materials for a Cadmium (Cd) plating replacement. Four candidate coatings were selected for the initial Phase I evaluation: electroless nickel (EN), electroless nickel composite (EN-PTFE), electrodeposited surface mineralization based zinc-nickel (Zn-Ni), and electroplated aluminum (Al). The Phase I testing results indicated that the Zn-Ni and Al coatings were the best of the four candidates for Cd replacement. However, it is hard to conduct direct comparisons with different coating thicknesses, surface treatments, and lubrication among various Cd alternatives. Thus, further evaluation with more careful control of these parameters would be necessary.