Pioneering Environmental Technologies
Photo: Boeing Photo
Boeing-developed alternatives to chrome-based paints currently are in use on AH-64 Apache helicopters, C-17s, F-15s, F/A-18s, a 737-800 operated by GOL Airlines of Brazil and a 777-300ER operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
Chrome long has been used in aerospace because it provides necessary corrosion protection for aircraft exposed to the elements at multiple altitudes. Technically known as hexavalent chromium, it is considered a carcinogen and exposure levels are highly regulated. Chrome-free paints and primers reduce environmental impacts and eliminate the need for special handling of paint waste.
Boeing also is researching ways to eliminate Halon, which is used as a fire-suppressing agent in commercial and military aircraft. Working with the U.S. Navy and key suppliers, Boeing has replaced Halon on new F/A-18s with an agent called HFC-125.
In May of this year, Boeing breaks ground on a new metal-treatment facility in Portland, Ore. The facility, which comes online in 2013, will use new technologies to significantly reduce the amount of cadmium required for manufacturing processes. Cadmium, which is considered to be a carcinogen, long has been used to protect metal against corrosion.
We continue looking for other opportunities to reduce the chemicals used in our products and operations, including evaluating engineering specifications and working with our global supplier network to identify and reduce chemicals used in producing aerospace parts.