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Aerospace and defense

The aerospace and defense sectors demand the highest standards of manufacturing and quality - whether in the sky or on the battlefield, component failure is simply not an option.
MacDermid Enthone facility employee handling a freshly treated part

Delivering unmatched quality, dependability, and durability

Strict product requirements are maintained to ensure the safety and security of all users. We speak the technical language of fabricators and their customers, delivering a key competitive advantage built on our experience and know-how. 

Aluminum pipes

Military coatings

Often written into specifications, MacDermid Enthone electroless nickel plating processes provide reliable solutions for critical equipment. Extensively used in aluminum military coating applications, our products are trusted to deliver long-term results including corrosion protection, lubricity, wear resistance, and critical optical properties. 

Modern air-cooled engine with turbocharger

Our aerospace & defense coatings are renowned for their reliability, unsurpassed corrosion protection, and wear resistance. These environmentally (REACH and RoHS) compliant processes are OEM approved and backed by global alliances. 

Technology overview


Removing oil, grease, and general soils from metals such as aluminum, brass, magnesium, and steel is a critical step in any surface treatment process. Our range of cleaners is proven to provide a chemically clean surface in the most demanding conversion coating, electroplating, and pre-paint applications. 

The portfolio includes:

  • Non-etch cleaners for light metals
  • Etches for aluminum
  • Soak degreasers for ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Electrolytic cleaners for ferrous and non-ferrous metals

These products are extensively specified by the leading aerospace manufacturers.

Acid activation and alkaline derusting

Dry acid salts, including METEX M 629, and alkaline derusters are used to remove oxide and activate from steel surfaces. The advantages of these products compared to mineral acids include a significant reduction in the potential to induce hydrogen embrittlement into the steel substrate. Typical applications would include their use as part of the pre-treatment cycle prior to hard chrome and zinc-nickel electroplating. This process is recognized by Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.

Anti-corrosion coatings

Zinc & zinc alloy electroplating

The preferred alloy composition for zinc-nickel is 12 – 15% nickel. This alloy gives exceptional sacrificial corrosion resistance, and the coating is compatible with light metals such as aluminum and magnesium. Zinc-nickel is typically plated from an alkaline electrolyte to provide excellent alloy and deposit distribution.

MacDermid Enthone offers zinc-nickel solutions that are approved by Airbus and meet MIL standard 39888.

Passivation & chromate coatings

MacDermid Enthone passivation systems include a complete range of hexavalent chromium-free and chromate-based conversion coatings. They meet all existing zinc and zinc alloy passivation requirements. Today, the market uses the high-performance, thermal shock resistant TriPass ELV passivates. These form an important layer in the ZinKlad™ hexavalent chromium-free coatings process.

Electroless nickel

These deposits may contain up to 13% phosphorus by weight and, unlike typical electroplating processes, they are produced without any externally applied electric current. The coatings are applied to a wide variety of substrates with both simple and complex geometries. Electroless nickel improves characteristics such as appearance, corrosion and wear resistance, and magnetic properties.

Our electroless nickel systems are specified by companies such as AMS, American Airlines, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Pratt & Whitney, and Westinghouse.

Aluminum conversion coatings

IRIDITE™ NCP provides excellent corrosion resistance to the aluminum alloy. This coating can be applied as the final finish or as a primer to improve paint adhesion. Typical applications could include the interior and exterior surfaces of an airplane body and mechanical components used in landing gear.

Our aluminum portfolio matches the specifications of such companies as AMS, American Airlines, Boeing, General Dynamics, McDonnell Douglas, and Pratt & Whitney.

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