Advanced surface coating technology company, Hardide Coatings (Bicester, United Kingdom), has entered into a partnership with Gardner Aerospace to coat key wing components for the Airbus A320 family of aircraft.
Hardide’s CVD (chemical vapor deposition) nano-structured tungsten/tungsten carbide coating was selected after extensive testing by Airbus and is replacing hard chrome plating (HCP) previously used on these components.
This is part of a strategic move by Airbus away from using HCP. Due to REACH regulations, HCP production in the United Kingdom and European Union will be banned, starting in September 2024.
The Hardide-coated components, which are critical to the operation of the flap mechanism, will be used on new-build A320s and as replacement parts for the existing aircraft fleet, as these are maintained. Initial components are expected to be coated in June 2023, followed by regular monthly volumes thereafter.
Airbus is currently producing 50 A320 aircraft per month, and it plans to increase this to 75 per month by 2026. Hardide Coatings says it is currently coating similar wing components for the Airbus A330, A380, and A400M aircraft.
“We are very pleased to have been selected to coat further components for the Airbus single-aisle A320 family high-volume production aircraft, and to replace hard chrome plating,” says Philip Kirkham, CEO of Hardide plc.
“Our coatings are increasingly replacing HCP and thermal spray coatings such as HVOF [high velocity oxy-fuel] on components used in aerospace and other industries,” Kirkham adds. “The Hardide coating outperforms these other coatings in its wear, corrosion, and fatigue resistance, and offers environmental advantages both in the coating process and its use in service.”
All Airbus parts are coated at the company’s U.K. facility in Bicester, Oxfordshire.
Source: Hardide plc, www.hardide.com.