In order to stay extremely competitive, LMC has developed a specific chromating business unit, with it's own team leader that specializes in the chromating process. Each unit has it's own value stream manager who is trained to utilize LEAN techniques and to create single source responsibility to each customer. This cutting edge thinking is how you get the best quality, deliver and cost for your component.

Chromate conversion coating is a type of conversion coating applied to passivate aluminum, zinc, cadmium, copper, silver, magnesium, tin and their alloys to slow corrosion. The process uses various toxic chromium compounds which may include hexavalent chromium. The industry is developing less toxic alternatives in order to comply with substance restriction legislation such as RoHS. One alternative is trivalant chromate conversion which is not as effective but less environmentally damaging.

Chromating is commonly used on zinc-plated parts to protect the zinc from white corrosion, which is primarily a cosmetic issue. It cannot be applied directly to steel or iron, and does not enhance zinc's anodic protection of the underlying steel from brown corrosion. It is also commonly used on aluminum alloy parts in the aircraft industry where it is often called chromate conversion film. It has additional value as a primer for subsequent organic coatings, as untreated metal, especially aluminium, is difficult to paint or glue. Chromated parts retain their electrical conductivity to varying degrees, depending on coating thickness. The process may be used to add color for decorative or identification purposes.

Chromate coatings are soft and gelatinous when first applied but harden and become hydrophobic as they age. Curing can be accelerated by heating up to 70°C, but higher temperatures will gradually damage the coating over time. Some chromate conversion processes use brief degassing treatments at temperatures of up to 200°C. Coating thickness from a few nanometers to several hundred nanometers can be produced, but the Alodine and Modified Bauer-Vogel coatings on aluminium are typically a few micrometers thick.

The protective effect of chromate coatings on zinc is indicated by color, progressing from clear/blue to yellow, gold, olive drab and black. Darker coatings generally provide more corrosion resistance. Chromate conversion coatings are common on everyday items such as hardware and tools and usually have a distinctive yellow color. Steel parts must be plated with zinc or cadmium prior to chromating.

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