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La Roche-sur-Foron, France 4 - 8th march 2024
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Materials and treatments


Featured product : "Etain Zinc" surface treatment - 1st worldwide | Hall B1 Stand K24

Developed by chemists, the "tin-zinc" treatment is intended more specifically for the automotive + aerospace sectors. Hacer has developed a line specially designed to perform this surface treatment on industrial parts by electrolytic deposition. This is the subject of the company's application for the SIMODEC 2024 Innovation Trophies as a world first.


HACER's newly-equipped line is a bulk/barrel process. Composed of a 70/30% tin-zinc alloy, it is a new surface treatment offering the widest range of possibilities.


Its innovative character stems primarily from its high tin content (a conductive metal). In certain applications, it is more economical than a "silver plating" type of treatment, where the metal is more expensive. However, it retains excellent electrical conductivity properties, making it of major interest in the new e-mobility markets. In environmental terms, the bath medium used for this treatment is cyanide-free, unlike other baths with similar properties. It is therefore less polluting. In terms of quality, it is highly resistant to corrosion, up to 1,000 hours BS with the appropriate finishing products; it has an excellent aptitude for deformation and is therefore more ductile. This means that it does not crack when bending parts, avoiding spalling during treatment. It has a better penetration rate; due to its composition, it offers excellent weldability.


Market expectations 


In the aerospace sector, many parts are treated with cadmium (or cadmium plating). This treatment will be banned by REACH and will no longer be ROHS-compliant by 2024. Certain derogations may be granted, but manufacturers urgently need to find/validate a replacement product. Aircraft manufacturers are working on this: some are moving towards zinc-nickel, others towards tin-zinc.


This treatment, if validated, can bring productivity gains in terms of cost, if it replaces silver plating. Secondly, its environmental footprint is smaller than that of cadmium or silver plating, both of which use cyanide products in their baths.


This deposit is currently being validated by automakers (it has already been validated by FORD, and is underway by PSA, for example). HACER would like to work "hand in hand" with aeronautical equipment manufacturers or their subcontractors, to have this treatment validated in place of cadmium. An approach along these lines is underway.


It should also be pointed out that HACER is positioned as an applicator of the product, thanks to its investment in a specific treatment line for this purpose. The chemistry is developed by "formulators" from whom Hacer buys the chemistry. They have therefore patented their own solution.


Key performances: good electrical conductivity - high corrosion resistance - no hydrogen embrittlement - good weldability - deformability - less polluting process.


Product presented: Alloy Hardiall® - 1st French | Hall B1 Stand K21



Hardiall® is a copper-nickel-tin alloy (CuNi15Sn8), developed and produced in a fully integrated process by LeBronze Alloys.  Thanks to a combination of wrought and spinodal hardening, it boasts outstanding mechanical properties (Rm > 1430 MPa), making it an excellent substitute for beryllium copper (CuBe2 / CuBe2Pb).  It boasts excellent corrosion resistance and friction properties (natural anti-seizing), as well as good dimensional stability on heat treatment.  Hardiall alloy also offers good machinability performance, thanks to optimized phases and microstructure.


Innovative character 


Hardiall® is positioned as an environmentally-friendly substitute for CuBe2Pb. In fact, Hardiall® has similar or even superior characteristics to CuBe2Pb, and contains no beryllium or lead, thus complying with RoHS and REACH regulations. The absence of these compounds also makes it an easily recyclable alloy.


Market expectations 


CuBe2Pb users, in particular connectors and watchmakers, have been actively seeking substitutes for many years to improve the environmental footprint and processing safety of their products. Hardiall® responds to the expressed need to substitute beryllium copper for lead. The result is an alloy with very high mechanical properties, corrosion resistance and excellent friction properties, while at the same time being environmentally friendly.


Thanks to the absence of harmful compounds, Hardiall® can be safely processed by the bar turning industry (or any other transformation process) and then easily recycled. It is available in a wide range of sizes (round formats from 1 to 35mm in diameter, as well as flat formats).


Soon to be integrated into ISO EN 12163, it is currently being assessed by ASRH (the Swiss association for watch research).


Target markets 


Watchmaking, Connectors, Screw-cutting, Precision machining.


Distribution strategy via historical Lebronze alloys distributors.