FortiPhy™ XVD Technology as Hard Chrome Replacement: A Sustainable Surface Enhancement Solution


David Bell



Oct 21, 2023

The move away from traditional hard chrome coatings is a significant stride toward embracing sustainable practices in surface enhancement techniques. Hard chrome coatings have been associated with substantial environmental and health hazards for many years, necessitating a shift towards greener alternatives. 

A promising contender leading this change is FortiPhy™ XVD technology, which stands out as a leading eco-friendly hard chrome replacement for sustainable surface enhancement. This article explains more about this new technology and its environmental impact.

Understanding the Limitations of Hard Chrome Coatings

Hard chrome coatings, while advantageous in some respects, pose significant environmental and health risks. The key issue lies in their production process, which involves hexavalent chromium, a highly toxic compound known for its carcinogenic properties. 

Exposure to hexavalent chromium poses serious health risks to workers, including: 

  • Lung cancer 
  • Asthma 
  • Damage to the kidneys and liver. 

Even minute amounts can have devastating impacts on health. Furthermore, improper handling or disposal can contaminate soil and water, posing severe environmental hazards.

These concerns have led to stringent regulatory measures, particularly in the European Union. The EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation has severely restricted the use of hexavalent chromium. 

Under REACH, any substance of serious concern (like hexavalent chromium) requires authorization for use, which is only granted if no safer alternative is available and if socio-economic benefits outweigh the risks. 

Given these regulations, the reliance on hard chrome coatings is increasingly untenable, especially when safer, more sustainable alternatives like FortiPhy™ technology are available.

Exploring FortiPhy™ XVD Technology

FortiPhy™ XVD goes beyond conventional cathodic arc technologies by utilizing magnetic fields to increase ionization efficiency. This increases plasma density while accelerating the enhanced plasma collectively by means of an electromagnetic force. Phygen’s coatings feature stronger adhesion, superb crystalline structure, denser coating with fewer defects and exceptional mechanical properties.

In contrast to hard chrome, FortiPhy™ XVD technology offers an innovative, environmentally responsible alternative for surface enhancement. The FortiPhy™ XVD coating process generally entails:

  • FortiPhy™ XVD Coating: With the ability to produce coatings with various compositions Phygen’s FortiPhy™ XVD technology can be tailored to a wide range of industries and applications. Fine control of process parameters during the FortiPhy™ XVD process allows for coatings with superb crystalline structure, fewer defects, and exceptional mechanical properties without negatively affecting substrate material properties or dimensions.

Altogether, the FortiPhy™ XVD process results in a surface that is harder and more wear-resistant and exhibits increased resilience to corrosion and surface damage.

Environmental Benefits of FortiPhy™ XVD Technology

Here’s a comparison of FortiPhy™ XVD and Hard Chrome based on their environmental impact:

Impact Hard Chrome FortiPhy™ XVD
Health Risks High – Hexavalent Chromium used in hard chrome coatings is a known carcinogen that poses serious health risks. None – The FortiPhy™ XVD process does not involve the use of carcinogenic or toxic substances.
Environmental Hazard High – Improper disposal of waste materials containing Hexavalent Chromium can contaminate soil and water. None – FortiPhy™ XVD creates no hazardous waste that could lead to soil or water contamination.
Regulation Compliance Challenging – The use of Hexavalent Chromium is heavily restricted under [EU/REACH regulations] Easy – FortiPhy™ XVD is fully compliant with environmental regulations, including EU/REACH.
Resource Consumption High – Hard chrome plating requires significant energy and water. Low – FortiPhy™ XVD process is more energy-efficient and requires significantly less water.
Waste Generation High – The hard chrome process generates substantial hazardous waste. Low – FortiPhy™ XVD technology results in minimal waste generation.

FortiPhy™ XVD Technology with Less Resources

FortiPhy™ is an environmentally conscious and resource-efficient solution for surface enhancement. Here’s how: 

  • Material Usage: FortiPhy™ XVD technology utilizes less material during the coating process. It applies a thin yet highly durable layer, leading to more efficient use of coating materials than hard chrome.
  • Reduced Waste: The precision of the FortiPhy™ XVD process reduces waste generation. There’s far less need for reworking or post-process adjustments that can generate waste.
  • Longer Lifespan: By significantly enhancing the wear resistance and durability of treated components, FortiPhy™ XVD coating extends their lifespan, reducing the need for replacement and saving resources. 
  • Water Usage: Compared to hard chrome plating, which relies heavily on water for cooling and rinsing, FortiPhy™ XVD uses significantly less water, contributing to its resource-saving benefits. 

If you’re looking to save on your resources and enjoy long-lasting effects, contact Phygen for more information

Extending Component Lifespan with FortiPhy™ XVD in Abrasive Environments

In abrasive environments, the performance and lifespan of components are often compromised. However, components treated with FortiPhy™ XVD technology demonstrate a significantly extended lifespan. This is owing to the ultra-hard, thin film that FortiPhy™ XVD deposits on the component surface, which is highly resistant to wear and surface damage.

This wear resistance is critical in abrasive conditions, where surfaces are subject to constant friction, impact, or corrosive substances. With FortiPhy™ XVD coatings, surfaces can withstand these harsh conditions for extended periods, reducing the frequency of component replacement and maintenance, thus leading to cost savings and improved operational efficiency.

FortiPhy™ XVD: Real-World Applications

Below are some application scenarios that showcase the advantages of FortiPhy™ XVD coatings over hard chrome coatings:

  • Automotive: In the automotive manufacturing industry, FortiPhy™ XVD coatings have been proven to improve tool lubricity, surface finish, and life leading to longer production runs with fewer tooling changeovers.
  • Food Processing: In the food processing industry, FortiPhy™ XVD coatings have been proven to provide excellent wear and corrosion resistance leading to a significant increase in lifespan of meat grinding plates. (an increase of 60 to 90 times or more)
  • Oil & Gas: For drilling equipment exposed to highly abrasive substances and extreme pressure, FortiPhy™ XVD coatings provides excellent protection, significantly extending equipment lifespan.
  • Machinery: Industrial machinery components like bearings and rollers treated with FortiPhy™ XVD coatings demonstrate extended durability, even under heavy operating conditions.

FortiPhy™ XVD An Innovative Solution

FortiPhy™ XVD technology provides a sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative to hard chrome coatings. Embracing this technique is essential for industries aiming to meet both performance demands and environmental responsibilities. 

Reach out for a consultation and discover how this cutting-edge technology can satisfy your surface enhancement needs.