SDG 13: Climate action

Reducing CO emissions in aerospace

Aircraft engine manufacturers face a number of challenges: boosting performance, improving safety and fuel efficiency, and controlling emissions to meet CO2 emission targets. One strategy for achieving these targets is to protect the parts that are located in the hot sections of the engine so that the engines can operate at higher temperatures, thus delivering improved efficiency. Other solutions are to improve the engine sealing, or to reduce engine and overall aircraft weight.

Oerlikon’s innovations include solutions that improve engine efficiency and performance by sealing the fuel line path with our proprietary abradable coatings. These high-tech coatings also increase engine operation safety, reduce fuel consumption (-3%) and therefore decrease CO2 emissions.

We also deliver thermal barrier coatings used for combustor and turbine components in the hot section of engines to help them operate at higher temperatures and protect the underlying material against extreme conditions. Our solutions help save up to 5 million liters of fuel, the volume of two Olympic size swimming pools, every day for a fleet the size of the A320 family, thus reducing 11 600 tons of CO2 emissions.

Eco-friendly alternative to chrome plating

The search for a suitable replacement to hard chrome on aerospace components has been a key priority for aircraft manufacturers. This is due to the documented health risks to workers and the impact on the environment from exposure to hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen that occurs during the chrome-plating process and is a highly toxic form of chromium.

Replacing hard chrome with a suitable alternative is a challenge for the aerospace industry because of its widespread use as a surface coating on many components. Since hard chrome delivers hardness, the ability to minimize sliding wear and corrosion protection, and also extends the life of metal parts, it is used in many applications in aircrafts such as aero structures, landing gears, engine mounts and air frames.

Oerlikon Balzers’ BALINIT C coating offers a solution. A nonhazardous and REACH-conmpliant PVD coating, BALINIT C provides a unique combination of extreme surface hardness, low friction coefficient and anticorrosion properties. It offers many of the same benefits as and is in some ways superior to hard chrome. Using this solution not only eliminates a health hazard, but also reduces the amount of toxic chrome sludge in landfills, which poses a potential threat to both soil and groundwater.



Kerstin Flötner

Kerstin Flötner

Head of Corporate Communications, Marketing & Public Affairs