Crosslink, a developer of electrochemistry- and polymer science-based technologies, has formed a joint venture (JV) with Wayne Pigment Corp. to commercialize hexavalent chromium-free corrosion inhibitor pigments for military and industrial applications.
The JV, CW Technologies, was formed in late May of this year, following Crosslink’s procurement of a patent on May 3 for its non-chromate corrosion inhibitor technology. Over the past decade, Wayne Pigment Corp. has obtained several patents for the development of hybrid inhibitor pigment technologies intended for the aerospace coatings industry.
Hexavalent chromium, and to a lesser extent trivalent chromium compounds, are tightly controlled by EPA regulations issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation Recovery Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) / Superfund, as well as by OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Despite known environmental effects, traditional chromate-based coatings have been previously unmatched in corrosion resistance performance. The need for reliable non-chromium corrosion resistance solutions has been recognized at the governmental level several times, including in the notable April 8, 2009 Department of Defense (DoD) Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments “to more aggressively mitigate the unique risks to DoD operations now posed by hexavalent chromium.” Most recently, the U.S. government’s May 5, 2011 Defense Federal Acquisitions Regulations Supplement (DFARS) also outlined policy to “minimize hexavalent chromium in items acquired by DoD, due to the serious human health and environmental risks related to its use.”
The JV between Crosslink and Wayne Pigment aims to address these and other mandates via a commercialized coatings solution incorporating both companies’ non-chromate pigment technologies. This includes a technology developed by Crosslink that has been third-party tested by Boeing Research and Technology and Spirit AeroSystems as an alternative to traditional chromate-based pigments, based on a variety of industry-standard screening techniques and criteria. Additionally, third-party outdoor marine testing has been conducted by The Battelle Institute.
As part of the JV’s commercialization plan, the companies are also seeking partnerships from within the coatings industry to develop optimized conversion coat, primer and top coat formulations. Initial qualified coatings applications will include those related to military, commercial and general aviation, while longer-range plans involve a broad spectrum of military and commercial aircraft and vehicles, and industrial and infrastructure applications.