Nucor Invests in Environmentally Friendly Chrome Plating
Trion Coatings’ chrome plating process was developed through a partnership between University of Notre Dame faculty members and the startup company based at the University’s IDEA Center.
Trion Coatings, which owns an environmentally friendly chrome plating process developed through a partnership between University of Notre Dame faculty members and the startup company based at the university’s IDEA Center, has sold a minority equity position in its parent company to Nucor Corp.
As part of the agreement, Nucor will work with Trion Coatings to commercialize the technology by building the first commercial facility for the plating process at Nucor Fastener in St. Joe, Indiana. Nucor will hold exclusive worldwide license agreement rights for the technology as applied to long steel products.
“We are very excited to invest in this cutting-edge technology, working together with Trion Coatings and the University of Notre Dame to create a much safer work environment, and advancing this to the commercial level,” says John Ferriola, Nucor’s chairman, CEO and president. “As the nation’s largest recycler, we are constantly looking for ways increase the sustainability of our business and reduce the impact on our environment.”
Trion Coatings LLC, which incubated at Notre Dame’s IDEA Center, was formed for the purpose of developing an environmentally friendly alternative to hexavalent chromium in chrome plating. Its patent-pending process uses trivalent chromium salts and a proprietary ionic liquid solution that is said to offer faster electroplating speeds, improved wear resistance and overall higher performance results than traditional hexavalent chrome, while also offering an excellent health and safety profile.
“We believe this technology represents a major advancement in allowing steel manufacturers to produce chrome-plated steel in a way that is efficient, environmentally friendly and safe for workers,” says Doug Morrison, president of Trion Coatings and a 1997 graduate of Notre Dame.