Sur/Fin Technical Tracks Offer 42 Hours of Expertise

The June 4-6 schedule features 83 presentations, including an automotive OEM panel discussion. 
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The National Association for Surface Finishing’s Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) is responsible for developing “technical tracks” for Sur/Fin, and these sessions continue to be an important cornerstone of the overall exhibition. They represent one reason why attendees come to the conference, which will be held June 4-6, in Cleveland, Ohio.

The TAC’s current 14-member roster of industry professionals encompasses all different disciplines within surface finishing, and a variety of experiences and credentials. We work with the Sur/Fin steering committee to ensure that the 12-session technology program’s direction meets the goals of the committee and the NASF board.

The 2018 technical program features 83 presentations, including an automotive OEM panel discussion, offering attendees 42 hours of exposure to new and existing technology, and perhaps more importantly, access to the industry experts who are presenting. The opportunities for interaction are valuable for those looking to educate themselves on the latest trends in finishing or to assist in solving particular problems.

Nearly 100 submissions were received in response to the call for abstracts, and each was reviewed for best fit with an established session topic. The statistics for the abstracts accepted for Sur/Fin offer some exciting insights:

  • 30 percent of the accepted abstracts are from companies that did not participate in the technology tracks last year.
  • 63 percent of the accepted abstracts are from speakers/ authors who did not make a presentation at Sur/Fin last year.

This is a very exciting indicator that there will be many new perspectives and input into the technical program that should make it more interesting and informative for our audiences.

Session tracks always include core topics on automotive, aerospace/defense and advances in surface finishing technologies, but this year, a very different blend of abstracts were received for consideration. This mix offered TAC the opportunity to design some new focus tracks.

This year’s Automotive track kicks off with Session 1, “Performance Solutions Impacting Today and the Future,” which represents a general overview of surface finishing topics, including electro-mobility, light materials use, fasteners, galvanic corrosion, use of trivalent chromium deposits and rectifier ripple impact on performance, as well as a perspective on how to assure consistent global quality in an OEM world.

Session 9, “Decorative Technology Meeting OEM Demands,” starts with a panel discussion on “A Closer Look at Expectations from Suppliers,” in which participating OEMs will focus on one critical message for suppliers: meeting their current and future demands. The other presentations cover a range of topics from the importance of nickel leveling to perspectives on the adaptation of chromium (III) plating systems to use of chromium (VI) plating and chrome -free etching considerations in etching POP.

Session 13, “High-Performance Zinc/Alloys and Passivation Systems,” includes eight presentations covering zinc flake coatings, zinc, zinc-iron, zinc-nickel, use of membrane systems and impact on performance, and the important characteristics of chemistry and control of trivalent passivation systems.

The Advances in Surface Finishing (ASF) track always provides much information to attendees regarding new technology. We have defined an entire focus track on hard chromium developments, starting with Session 2, “Functional Chromium Technology,” which includes an overview talk on “Hard Chrome Plating in the Age of REACH—7 Years of Experience in Europe.” Other presentations will review current state-of-the-art hard chromium systems and offer data on resulting deposits. Session 6, “New Trends in Surface Engineering,” offers a variety of presentations on electroless nickel, metallizing and plating plastics, and high-current-density barrel plating applications.

We received a large number of abstracts on waste management/treatment and, as a result, have defined two related sessions. Session 3, “Waste Management Perspectives Connecting Finishers,” offers a broad view of important initiatives for our industry. Two presentations in this session provide legal perspectives on some regulations and environmental impacts felt in by the industry. Other efforts include treatment improvements for paint processes, cyanide destruction, phosphate removal, managing oils/soils from cleaning solutions and improvements in zincnickel treatment methodology. Session 14, “Managing Water Usage to Minimize Waste Treatment,” showcases technologies for improving water utilization in surface finishing facilities. Topics include methods and equipment for conductivity, and closed-loop, zero-discharge, acid and water recycling approaches.

Aerospace and Defense (A&D) sessions, although specifically focused on military or aircraft, are always a good draw at Sur/Fin. Session 7, “A&D Innovating Performance Advancements” covers topics including brush plating, ionic liquids, surface finishing for additively manufactured parts, coatings and alloys for durable turbine engines, and anti-erosion. Session 11, “A&D Modeling & Prediction,” features topics on computer-aided engineering, software for computational optimization of coatings, and other tools for the prediction of performance for coatings and systems.

Session 15, “Plating Efficiency Improvement via Equipment Automation, Material Advances and Lean,” will include glow discharge spectroscopy, adding value to 3D-printed parts with electroplating, automated selective plating, surface engineering perspectives for manufacturing and re-manufacturing, lean manufacturing perspectives, and equipment-control systems for plating lines.

Fabrication of parts from low-weight materials continues to grow, and Session 5, “Light Materials Treatments Optimizing Performance,” includes topics on processing titanium, magnesium and aluminum anodizing cast alloys; direct metallization of aluminum without the use of a zincate; and improvements in trivalent chromium passivation treatments.

Session 10, “Sustainability in Research for Electronics and Surface Finishing,” includes a range of presentations focusing on research efforts to improve corrosion performance, specifically in electronic components or for non-electronic applications. For electronics, these include electroless nickel, electroless palladium immersion gold systems, the next generation of corrosion-resistant finishes. Work on improving properties of coatings for meeting high-performance demands of Mil DTL 39999 also will be discussed. Outside of electronics, iron-carbon deposits, and Inconel and Stellite-like coatings for improved surface wear or surface corrosion resistance will be discussed.

The TAC hopes attendees at Sur/Fin will find many opportunities to learn and discuss the latest in technical developments for a broad range of surface finishing processes and applications. In the spirit of this year’s focus, “Where Finishing Connects,” we expect many attendees will continue to make new acquaintances and renew existing connections with colleagues from North America as well as many other parts of the world.

We look forward to seeing you in Cleveland. Visit nasfsurfin.org for information.