Global Fastener News

2005 FIN – How to Identify Hexavalent Chromium

September 18
00:00 2012


August 24, 2005 FIN – Editors Note: The following column by Phil Matten, editor of Fastener & Fixing Europe, is part of a news column exchange with FIN /
With the requirements of European directives to eliminate hexavalent chromium from vehicles and electrical goods looming, debate about assurance is increasing. The reliability of so-called spot tests has been brought into question, with evidence of possible false-positive results. Finish-ing and coatings specialists Atotech, whose technical center is in Berlin, has been working with the DIN organisation to develop an acceptable standard test for the presence of Cr+6.
Its presentation of a recent seminar organised by the British Association of Fastener Distributors concluded that the test procedure is impractical for the majority of fastener distributors, placing the burden of compliance on plating and testing firms. A typical test on a single fastener currently costs around US$50, generating concerns about the costs of assuring compliance.
Meanwhile two UK importers who have committed to the progressive conversion of their total inventory to trivalent coatings have come up with distinctive, but different, assurance symbols for product labelling.
BAFD is trying to minimize the potential for confusion by promoting the development and adoption of Europe-wide standard symbols. Geoff Hopwood, CEO of the Owlett-Jaton Group, has initiated consultations with European colleagues and the coating industry. Currently the key question is whether to simply affirm that a trivalent coating has been used or to adopt a wider application symbol confirming products are hex chrome-free. ©2005/2012 Fastener Industry News.
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