Cerate conversion coatings
Rare-earth base, non-chromate conversion coatings
Conversion coatings without toxic chromate
Chromates are widely used for inhibiting corrosion, particularly in light metals, and in particular aluminium. Chromates form a fundamental component of so-called conversion coatings which both bind paint to the metal surface and help to inhibit corrosion if the paint is damaged. Chromates are toxic and are being progressively legislated from use.
Cerium-based coatings are one of the few chromate replacement options that possess colour, enabling untrained personnel to immediately judge the presence and quality of the coating. CSIRO has a long history of work in this area with a variety of organisations and possesses a range of patents and technical know-how, particularly in the vital area of pretreatments that enable coatings to be formed on alloys that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to process.