In aerospace and defense (A&D) and more recently in the automotive industry there is enormous regulatory and market pressure to pursue high performance and energy efficiency, resulting in a strong push towards the use of light alloys and composites. This opens up the risk for unforeseen, detrimental interactions between these materials such as accelerated corrosion due to galvanic incompatibilities. Furthermore, with increasingly restrictive chemical/material hazards legislation, material and process engineers (M&P) have available to them a decreasing pool of choices. For example, we are no longer able to use cadmium as a sacrificial coating, similarly, there is pressure to reduce and ultimately replace the use of materials containing chromates. Consequently, material choice is not simply a matter of physical properties but requires a holistic approach, since the impact can affect the success of products and indeed the financial success and survival of the company – if your main income stream is from the production of a ‘widget’ and you are told that you are no longer able to use a certain material then, even the CEO should be concerned!
When Corrdesa consults with our clients and we take them through our 6-step material implementation process shown in the figure. Indeed, some of our customers have already started this journey and come to Corrdesa for a particular aspect – for example wanting to immediately address the issue of transition for a product they are already developing.