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A Thintri MARKET STUDY: 2016:
Markets in Wear Coatings: Hard Chrome and its Alternatives

Thintri Inc. announces the release of Markets in Wear Coatings: Hard Chrome and its Alternatives, 2016, a new update of its study on hard chrome wear coatings and chrome replacement. This comprehensive examination of the subject discusses the various technologies, the industries in which they will, and won't, be used, and forecasts to 2022.

The Chrome Plating Industry

  • Health and environmental issues
  • Effects of pollution control laws
  • The industry today
  • Economic factors
  • Drawbacks in hard chrome

Chrome plating Market Analysis

  • Aerospace
  • Oil & gas
  • Hydraulics & heavy machinery
  • General industry
  • Today's economy
  • New legislation
  • Geographic segmentation

Chrome Plating Alternatives

  • Hard trivalent chrome
  • Plasma spray
  • High velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF)
  • High velocity air-fueled (HVAF)
  • Twin wire arc spray
  • Electro-spark deposition
  • Electroless nickel plating
  • Electroless nickel boron plating
  • Electroless nickel composite plating
  • Electrodeposited nanocrystalline cobalt-phosphorus coatings
  • Nickel-cobalt alloy coatings
  • Plated tin alloys
  • Explosive bonding
  • Laser cladding
  • Physical vapor deposition (PVD)
  • Intensified plasma-assisted processing

Market Demand

2016 to 2022 forecasts

  • Aerospace
    • Actuator hydraulics
    • Landing gear
    • Gas turbines
    • Other Components
  • General industrial
    • Automotive
    • Agriculture
    • Pulp & paper
    • Transportation & roads
    • Mining
    • Heavy equipment
    • Oil & gas
    • Stamping and molding

Background on Wear Coatings

Used as a fundamental wear-resistant coating in a wide range of industries—aerospace, heavy equipment, automotive and many others — hard chrome plating has overcome increasing obstacles to market growth in recent years. Industry downsizing and consolidation following toughened legislation led to the closure or offshore relocation of as many as half of the chrome plating shops in North America, but the remaining the chrome plating industry has been stable for several years. Most chrome plating shops, having accommodated new regulations, are now thriving and profitable.

However, the situation is changing rapidly. In this, the fourth update to Thintri's original 2003 study on wear coatings, alternatives to hexavalent hard chrome are now poised to have a significant impact on hex chrome's markets to the degree that sales of hard chrome plating consumables may fall into negative territory.

A number of alternatives to hard chrome are available. The chief substitute is thermal spray, in particular high-velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF), often favored due to its high strength and wear resistance and fast turnaround time. Some of the industry has begun transitioning to high-velocity air-fueled (HVAF) and high energy plasma spray. Thermal spray as a rule, however, faces fundamental limitations such as high cost, low throughput and difficulty with complex shapes or non-line of sight situations.

Thermal spray faces growing competition from new plating solutions that easily accommodate non-line of sight and complex shapes. These include electroless nickel composite plating, which can deposit diamond-composite coatings, and electrodeposited nanocrystalline cobalt-phosphorus alloys. Plasma vapor deposition (PVD) can make thin, high quality coatings for less cost, in some cases, than even decorative chrome.

The big news is that hard trivalent chrome, long sought as a more health- and environmentally-friendly alternative to hex chrome, is now a commercial reality. Hard trivalent chrome coatings have been demonstrated in large scale production and the technology is now available. The impact will be significant on established markets for hex chrome plating, since it's among the most economical and easily implemented hex chrome substitute. The good news for chrome platers is that they can convert to hard trivalent chrome coatings with relative ease and remain at the forefront of wear coating technology.

However, new legislative initiatives, particularly REACH in Europe, have made many nervous about any chromium content at all in their coatings, leading to growing interest in chromium-free coatings. Furthermore, REACH has also targeted cobalt salts, a prime constituent of nanocrystalline cobalt-phosphorus coatings, a very promising and economical plating alternative to hard chrome.

For wear coating markets, the picture is wildly uncertain. Users face wild swings in the cost of raw materials and uneven economic growth. Coating demand in the oil and gas sector went from frenzied to dormant in a short couple of years as a worldwide glut reduced demand for coatings. Forestry and pulp & paper continue a precipitous, long term decline. Other sectors are reporting reasonably optimistic conditions. Even players within the same industry, like small thermal spray powder suppliers, report widely varying market conditions. It is a time of great uncertainty, but also great promise.

Understand the Markets

Success in wear coating markets will depend almost completely on a balance of cost and performance that will be highly application-specific. Many, if not most, chrome substitutes like thermal spray will require higher up-front costs, usually in the form of equipment purchases. However, longer component lifetimes and reduced frequency of repairs can lead to significant long-term savings, not to mention the benefits of improved performance. Other alternatives offer a crossover benefit that depends on the scale of implementation or other factors. For example, PVD is more expensive than chrome for small lots but can be significantly less expensive in large-scale production. Most alternatives also offer a large advantage in reduced hazardous waste management costs compared to hexavalent chrome.

Thintri's study Markets in Wear Coatings: Hard Chrome and its Alternatives examines each of the leading alternative technologies in detail: its capabilities, limitations and most promising applications. The report also explores their potential in major market segments and forecasts markets to 2022.


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Markets in Wear Coatings: Hard Chrome and its Alternatives

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Report Table of Contents:

Executive Summary   1

E.1 Introduction   1
E.2 Hard Chrome Wear Coatings   2
        E.2.1 Health & Environmental Hazards, Legislation   2
        E.2.2 The Hard Chrome Industry Today   3
        E.2.3 Hard Chrome Markets   3
        E.2.4 The Need for Chrome Alternatives in Wear Coatings   7
E.3 Primary Chrome Alternatives    8
        E.3.1 Thermal Spray   8
E.3.1.1 HVOF/HVAF   8
E.3.1.2 Plasma Spray   9
E.3.1.3 Twin Wire Arc Spray   9
        E.3.2 Thermal Spray Consumables   10
        E.3.3 Plated and PVD Alternatives to Chrome    10
E.3.3.1 Trivalent Chrome   11
E.3.3.2 Electroless Nickel and its Variations   11
E.3.3.3 Nanocrystalline Alternatives   13
E.3.3.4 Physical Vapor Deposition    13
        E.3.5 Electrospark Deposition   14
        E.3.6 Explosive Bonding    14
E.4 The Market Outlook for Alternatives    14

Chapter 1: Introduction   17

Chapter 2: The Hard Chrome Plating Industry   19

2.1 Chromium   21
2.2 Chrome Plating   22
2.3 Health and Environmental Effects   24
2.4 Effects of Pollution Control Legislation   25
        2.4.1 OSHA's PELs    25
        2.4.2 EPA Rules    27
        2.4.3 Europe    30
2.5 The Industry Today    30

Chapter 3: Hard Chrome Markets and Market Drivers   32

3.1 Overview: Chrome's Dominance in Wear Coatings   35
3.2 Today's Hard Chrome Plating Markets   36
        3.2.1 Aerospace Markets for Hard Chrome Plating   39
3.2.1.1 Aircraft Actuator Hydraulics    40
3.2.1.2 Landing Gear   41
3.2.1.3 Gas Turbines    41
3.2.1.4 Other Aircraft Components   43
3.2.1.5 Overhaul & Repair    44
        3.2.2 Oil Field, Heavy Equipment, and General Industrial Markets for Hard Chrome   44
3.3 Drawbacks in Using Hard Chrome   46
3.4 Hard Chrome Market Conditions Today   48
3.5 Hard Chrome Market Forecasts   49
        3.5.1 Introduction   49
        3.5.2 Aerospace   50
        3.5.3 Industry   51
3.5.3.1 Oil & Gas   51
3.5.3.2 Hydraulics & Heavy Machinery   52
3.5.3.3 Other General Industry   56

Chapter 4: Alternative Technologies to Hexavalent Chrome Plating   54

4.1 Introduction   60
4.2 Thermal Spray    60
        4.2.1 Thermal Spray Technologies Today   60
        4.2.2 High Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF)   61
            4.2.2.1 D-Gun   62
            4.2.2.2 HVAF    62
            4.2.2.3 HVOF vs. Chrome   65
        4.2.3 Plasma Spray   66
            4.2.3.1 Conventional Plasma Spray   66
            4.2.3.2 High Energy Plasma   67
        4.2.4 Twin Wire Arc Spray   69
        4.2.5 Thermal Spray Metal Powder/Polymer Combinations    71
        4.2.6 Cold Spray   72
        4.2.7 Powders   73
        4.2.8 Stripping and Grinding Issues  74
        4.2.9 Health, Safety & Environmental Issues in Thermal Spray   75
4.3 Plating Alternatives to Hard Chrome   76
        4.3.1 Trivalent Chromium   76
            4.3.1.1 Faraday Technology   77
            4.3.1.2 Atotech   80
            4.3.1.3 ECOCHROM   81
        4.3.2 Electroless Nickel Plating   82
            4.3.2.1 Electroless Nickel Boron   85
            4.3.2.2 Electroless Nickel Composite Coating   87
        4.3.3 Electrodeposited Nanocrystalline Coatings   91
4.3.3.1 Integran's Electrodeposited Nanocrystalline Cobalt-Phosphorus   91
            4.3.3.2 US Chrome/USC Technologies   97
        4.3.4 Plated Tin Alloys   99
4.4 Electrospark Deposition   99
4.5 Explosive Bonding   101
4.6 Laser Cladding   103
4.7 Vacuum Techniques   104
        4.7.1 PVD  104
        4.7.2 Intensified Plasma-Assisted Processing  106
4.8 Line of Sight, Inner Diameter Issues   107

Chapter 5: Markets for Chrome Alternatives  89

5.1 Target Hard Chrome Markets, Penetration by Alternatives  109
5.2 Markets and Forecasts for Non-Chrome Plated and Vapor Deposition Solutions  110
5.3 Commercial Demand and Market Forecasts, Thermal Spray  112
        5.3.1 Background: Industrial Thermal Spray in Today's Economy  112
        5.3.2 Oil Field Applications  117
        5.3.3 Hydraulics and Heavy Equipment  119
        5.3.4 Other General Industry  123
5.4 Aerospace Demand and Forecasts  127
        5.4.1 Commercial vs. Defense Demand  129
        5.4.2 Opportunities in Overhaul and Repair vs. Manufacture  132
        5.4.3 Landing Gear  133
        5.4.4 Aircraft Hydraulics   137
        5.4.5 Gas Turbines  138
            5.4.5.1 Aircraft Gas Turbines  139
            5.4.5.2 IGTs   140
        5.4.6 Other Aerospace Applications  142
5.5 Thermal Spray Supplier Markets and Forecasts  143
        5.5.1 Wear Coatings Markets  144
        5.5.2 Markets for Services  145
        5.5.3 Cost Issues  146
        5.5.4 Geographic Segmentation   150
        5.5.5 Powder Providers and Markets  152
        5.5.6 Equipment Providers and Markets   155
        5.5.7 HVOF vs. Plasma vs. Wire Arc  159

Tables and Figures

Figure E-1 Overall Worldwide Hard Hex Chrome Consumables Market Forecast 4
Figure E-2 Markets, Hard Hex & Trivalent Chrome Consumables, Wear Coatings  6
Figure E-3 Forecast, Total Hard Chrome Consumables Markets, Wear Coatings  6
Figure E-4 Overall Market Forecast, Thermal Spray Consumables, Wear Coatings  15
Table 2-1 Domestic Sodium Dichromate & Chromic Acid Production, US  22
Table 2-2 Typical Process Parameters for Chrome Plating, Conventional Baths   23
Table 2-3 Symptoms of Hexavalent Chromium Exposure Among Chrome Plating and Chromium Chemical Workers  24
Figure 2-1 Sources of Hexavalent Chromium Emissions, 2005  29
Figure 3-1 Worldwide Chrome Plating Demand, Consumables, Equipment, Services, Hard vs. Decorative, 2016  36
Figure 3-2 Geographic Distribution, Hard Chrome Production, 2016  38
Figure 3-3 Projected Geographic Distribution, Hard Chrome Production, 2022  38
Figure 3-4 Global Hard Chrome Consumables Market Breakdown, 2016  39
Figure 3-5 Aerospace Chrome Plating Consumables Market Segments, 2016  39
Figure 3-6 Aerospace Hard Chrome Consumables Markets, Commercial vs. Defense, 2016  40
Figure 3-7 Hard Chrome Demand Segmentation in Gas Turbines, Aerospace vs. IGT, 2016  42
Table 3-1 Industrial Hard Chrome Applications  45
Figure 3-8 Overall Hard Hex Chrome Consumables/Equipment/Services Market Forecast  50
Figure 3-9 Aerospace Hard Hex Chrome Consumables Market Forecast  51
Figure 3-10 Hard Hex Chrome Consumables/Equipment/Services Market Forecast, Oil & Gas 52
Figure 3-11 Overall Hydraulics & Heavy Equipment Hard Hex Chrome Market Forecast  53
Figure 3-12 Hydraulics Hard Hex Chrome Markets: Mining & Earth Moving vs. Forestry & Logging  54
Figure 3-13 Market Forecast: Hard Hex Chrome in Agriculture, Waste& Recycling  54
Figure 3-14 Market Forecast: Hard Hex Chrome in Construction, Concrete & Asphalt  55
Figure 3-15 Market Forecast: Hard Hex Chrome Consumables in Defense & Government, Freight Transport  55
Figure 3-16 Hard Hex Chrome Consumables Market Forecast: General Industry  56
Figure 3-17 Market Forecast: Hard Hex Chrome Consumables in General Industry by Market Segment  57
Figure 3-18 Hard Hex Chrome vs. Hard Trivalent Chrome Markets  58
Figure 3-19 Overall Hard Chrome Consumables Market Forecast  59
Figure 5-1 Overall Market Forecast, Consumables & Equipment, Plated and PVD Alternatives  111
Figure 5-2 Market Forecast, Consumables and Equipment, Plated and PVD Alternatives by  Segment 112
Figure 5-3 hermal Spray Equipment vs. Consumables Market, 2016  117
Figure 5-4 hermal Spray Powder Market Forecast, Oil and Gas Sector  119
Figure 5-5 hermal Spray Services Market Forecast, Oil and Gas Sector  119
Figure 5-6 Forecast, Thermal Spray Powder, Mining & Earth Moving, Forestry & Logging   121
Figure 5-7 Forecast, Thermal Spray Powder, Agriculture, Waste& Recycling   121
Figure 5-8 Forecast, Thermal Spray Powder, Construction, Concrete& Asphalt   122
Figure 5-9 Forecast, Thermal Spray Powder, Defense & Government, Freight Transport   122
Figure 5-10 Forecast, Thermal Spray Powder, Overall Hydraulics and Heavy Equipment   123
Figure 5-11 Forecast, Thermal Spray Services, Overall Hydraulics and Heavy Equipment   123
Figure 5-12 Forecast, Thermal Spray Powder, General Industry by Segment   126
Figure 5-13 Forecast, Thermal Spray Powder, Overall General Industry   126
Figure 5-14 Forecast, Thermal Spray Services, Overall General Industry   127
Figure 5-15 Defense vs. Commercial Aerospace Demand, Thermal Spray Powder, Wear Coatings, 2016   131
Figure 5-16 Defense vs. Commercial Aerospace Demand, Thermal Spray Services, Wear Coatings, 2016   131
Figure 5-17 Aerospace Thermal Spray Powder Demand, Manufacture vs. Repair   132
Figure 5-18 Aerospace Overhaul & Repair, Thermal Spray Outsource vs. In-House, 2016   133
Figure 5-19 Thermal Spray Powder Demand Forecast, Landing Gear   137
Figure 5-20 Thermal Spray Powder Demand Forecast, Aircraft Hydraulics   138
Figure 5-21 Thermal Spray Powder Demand Forecast, Aircraft Gas Turbines   140
Figure 5-22 Thermal Spray Powder Demand Forecast, IGTs   141
Figure 5-23 Thermal Spray Powder Demand Forecast, Other Aerospace   142
Figure 5-24 Thermal Spray Services Forecast, Overall Aerospace   143
Figure 5-25 Overall Thermal Spray Wear Coatings Consumables Market Forecast   144
Figure 5-26 Overall Market Forecast, Thermal Spray Services   146
Table 5-1 Time Study Results, HVOF vs. Chrome Plating on a Landing Gear Piston: Hours to Plate 737-300 NLG IC Landing Gear Piston: HVOF vs. Chrome Plating   147
Figure 5-27 Geographic Segmentation Forecast, Thermal Spray Powders, Wear Coatings   150
Figure 5-28 Geographic Segmentation Forecast, Thermal Spray Equipment, Wear Coatings  150
Figure 5-29 Thermal Spray Powder Market Segments by Coating Type, 2016   153
Figure 5-30 Overall Thermal Spray Wear Coating Powder Market Forecast   153
Figure 5-31 Market Share, Carbide Powder Producers, 2016   155
Figure 5-32 Overall Thermal Spray Wear Coating Equipment Market Forecast   156
Figure 5-33 Market Share, Thermal Spray Equipment Producers, 2016   156
Figure 5-34 Market Share, Plasma Spray Equipment Producers, 2016   157
Figure 5-35 Market Share, HVOF Equipment Producers, 2016   157
Figure 5-36 Market Share, Wire Arc Equipment Producers, 2016   158
Figure 5-37 Thermal Spray Segmentation and Forecast, Consumables   159
Figure 5-38 Thermal Spray Segmentation and Forecast, Equipment   160 



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