Environmental constraints on exposure to hexavalent chrome and its compounds has prompted increased utilization of HVOF thermal spray coating technology to implement new overhaul repairs for components that are currently chrome plated. Proposed 1998 EPA and OSHA standards place very tight restrictions on the Personal Exposure Limit (PEL) for hexavalent chrome, which will impact chrome plating operations and most likely attendant grinding operations. Historically, HVOF or D-gun type repairs involved bearing bores, journals on main shafts, mid span supports, dimensional restorations and clearance control applications predominantly on gas turbine engines. Currently, the Naval Aviation Depot Jacksonville is further developing HVOF capabilities for repairing all P-3 aircraft hydraulic component piston rods, landing gear piston struts, and landing gear axle journals with a tungsten carbide 17% cobalt coating in lieu of chrome plating. Once implemented, the repair technology will be transferred to other Naval aircraft components beginning with F14, F/A-18, EA-6B, E-6, and will eventually reduce personnel exposure to chrome and reduce environmental disposal costs for chrome plating waste by two-thirds. This paper provides a case study of the development and implementation of a chrome plating replacement for the P-3 aircraft including fatigue, corrosion, and seal wear testing, as well as HVOF parameter optimization development.

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