Electroless Nickel (EN) Coating on Aluminium Cartridge Case for Releasing Bomb Application

ELECTROLESS NICKEL COATING ON ALUMINIUM CARTRIDGE CASE

Authors

  • B A Parate Air Pilot Plant Division, Armament Research Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune 411 002, Maharashtra, India
  • A K Sahu Air Pilot Plant Division, Armament Research Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune 411 002, Maharashtra, India

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.56042/jsir.v83i3.1801

Keywords:

Blow holes, Closed vessel, Defects, Electron diffraction, Micro-structure analysis

Abstract

The motivation for this research work is to apply innovative process of Electroless Nickel (EN) coating on aluminium (Al) cartridge cases used for releasing external stores on fighter aircraft. Aluminium, chosen for its lightweight properties, electrical conductivity, non-corrosiveness, and compatibility with energetic materials, proves advantageous in defence applications due to its high strength-to-weight ratio and softer composition compared to other metals. Nickel coating is applied to enhance corrosion resistance, increase wear resistance, eliminate the cracks, blow holes and improve the overall aesthetic appeal of the cartridge. Unlike traditional electroplating methods, novel EN methodology employed here operates through an auto-catalytic reaction, eliminating the need for electricity during metal ion deposition. Before the introduction of the EN coating, the use of bare aluminium cases led to defects such as blow holes or cracks on the cartridge surface. The EN coating applied to the power cartridge case, serve as a thermal barrier without compromising the electrical conductivity of the base material. The paper discusses the successful prevention of defects through a series of trials and emphasizes the crucial role of EN coating on aluminium cartridge cases in emergency situations for releasing bombs from military aircraft. Positive feedback received from users regarding the utilization of EN coating on Al cartridge cases proves the effectiveness and reliability of the process. This process enhances the manufacturing technology to meet the specific and critical requirements of users i.e. Indian Air Force (IAF).

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Published

2024-03-07