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  Guide to Cleaner Technologies, Alternative Metal Finishes (64 pp, 3.96 MB) (EPA/625/R-94/007) September 1994

This guide describes cleaner technologies that can be used to reduce waste and emissions from metal finishing operations. All metal finishing processes generate wastes. This guide addresses processes using toxic or carcinogenic ingredients that are hard to destroy or stabilize and dispose of in an environmentally sound manner. The guide is valuable to metal finishing firms that use all types of metal finishes on both metallic and nonmetallic components, firms that use cadmium and chromium finishes, and finishers that use cyanide-based baths or copper/formaldehyde solutions.

The guide is organized into five sections. Sections One and Two discuss metal finishing and pollution prevention issues, identify processes that cause environmental concerns, and serve as background to subsequent sections. Sections Three and Four discuss available and emerging cleaner technology alternatives. Section Five gives an overview for using cleaner technologies and addresses environmental concerns of metal finishing facilities.

Available alternative technologies discussed in this guide include:

  • Noncyanide copper plating
  • Noncyanide metal stripping
  • Zinc/zinc-alloy electroplating
  • Blackhole technology
  • Ion vapor deposition
  • Physical vapor deposition
  • Chromium-free aluminum surface treatments
  • Metal spray coating

Emerging technologies discussed in this guide include:

  • Nickel/tungsten/silicon carbide
  • Nickel/tungsten/boron
  • In-mold plating

Information sources in this guide identify various trade associations that can provide further technical details on these technologies.

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