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Sustainable coating solutions: The future of surface technology

Compelling reasons to switch from hard chrome to PVD

In many industries such as automotive and aerospace, the surfaces of highly stressed components are coated to minimize sliding wear and abrasion, reduce erosion, improve corrosion protection, and also to achieve a metallic aesthetic. Conventionally, electro-plating, often based on hexavalent chromium (Cr VI), has been the widely used technique for such coatings. However, chromium in this form is extremely toxic, harmful to the environment, may cause allergic reactions and is even considered carcinogenic.

Eco-friendly innovations for a safer future

At Oerlikon, we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, stakeholders, and working on a sustainable future. Conducting all business in an environmentally and socially responsible manner underlies all of our activities and is, moreover, an integral part of our business success. We offer our customers eco-friendly coating solutions which provide outstanding performance and eliminate the need for conventional hard chrome and PFAS.

Unlike many, we limited our use of electroplating technology and PFAS from the outset and developed cutting-edge PVD coatings that are highly recognized in many industries. Our coatings exclusively utilize technologies that are harmless to both people and the environment. Oerlikon Balzers' range of thin-film technologies including PVD, PACVD, CVD, and heat treatment processes are all environmentally-friendly and REACH-compliant according to EU regulations.

Our eco-friendly technologies and coatings have earned several supplier awards and qualified supplier statuses. Furthermore, we have been recognized for design concepts in the aerospace and automotive industries.

Certified excellence: Our commitment to sustainability and quality

Oerlikon Balzers holds numerous certificates, backed by rigorous internal and external processes. Regular reviews and audits guarantee continual improvement. Additionally, we adhere to ISO 14001 and ISO EN9001 standards, underscoring our commitment to sustainability and relevance to ESG initiatives.

Application-based testing for market-ready solutions: Contact our experts.

In our application laboratory, we conduct thorough testing on our products and solutions, simulating real-life conditions and adhering to international standards, to ensure they meet market requirements.

To learn more about the tests procedures or to request specific tests for your application, please feel free to contact our team of experts.

We performed comprehensive comparative tests to evaluate the performance of hard chrome against PVD coatings, specifically examining their resistance to abrasion and erosion. Each graph shows the ranking of the coatings and how they performed in the specific test.

Abrasion test

The abrasion test uses abrasive media to cause continuous material removal. The more resistant the coating is to this wear mechanism, the longer the coated components will last in service.

The tested hard chromium variants show significantly higher wear than Oerlikon PVD coatings.

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Erosion test

In the erosion test performed, the surface is continuously bombarded with solid particles at a defined angle. This test is used in the development of aerospace components and can also be applied to other particle exposure applications.

Compared to tested hard chromium coatings, the selected BALORA® and BALINIT® PVD coatings show superior erosive wear behavior.

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Benefit from our expertise and extensive experience in sustainable surface technologies and let us assist you in identifying the perfect coating solution for your specific application.


Our Team of Experts

Our Team of Experts

Coating Tests

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