Design engineers are fuming mad about the lack of decent options for cadmium as a plating material. A couple made comments in a recent study conducted by the Reed Business Information Research Department for Design News. “We need an environmentally friendly replacement with decent cost and performance,” says an engineer who designs equipment for in house use. ”These days, cadmium is effectively banned for environmental reasons, but none of the possible replacements meet all the performance requirements.” Cadmium has been widely used as a plating material because it offers good corrosion resistance, cathodic protection of steel, galvanic compatibility with aluminum, as well as excellent lubricity. Cadmium can be dyed to many colors and can be used as a final finish or a paint base. Inhalation of cadmium-containing fumes can result in chemical pneumonitis, pulmonary edema, and death. Human exposures to environmental cadmium are primarily the result of the burning of fossil fuels and municipal wastes It’s one of six substances banned by the European Union’s Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive.
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Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a surface preparation method to improve joining carbon composites with aluminum, with potentially far-reaching ramifications for high-volume industrial applications.
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