Aluminium alloys make up at least 20% of new aircraft such as A350 and B787, and almost 70% of legacy aircraft such as A320 or B737. To make sure aluminium components are fit to face the rigours of flight, various surface treatments need to be applied.
Within the European Union and United Kingdom, REACH has restricted various historic products and processes, as they are deemed unsafe for operators and the environment. Safer chemicals are gradually replacing substances such as borate, hydrogen fluoride (or fluoric acid) and hexavalent chrome (sometimes referred to as Chrome VI, Cr(VI) or chromate), and leading to changes in the processes and products used.
In keeping with this shift in technology, Socomore have developed a range of aluminium surface treatments that meet the requirements of major OEMs as well as the restrictions put on the industry by the European Commission and other parties.
There are three main phases in the aluminium surface treatment process.