TFC has been performing IVD Aluminum Coating using the process originally developed by McDonnell Douglass since the early 1980’s as an accepted, production proven alternative to cadmium plating. Unlike cadmium plating, the process requires no pollution control or cleanup costs, does not contaminate the environment once out in the field, and is more effective in acidic and industrial environments. TFC has always been committed to green alternatives and limiting its impact on future generations.


Ion Vapor Deposition (IVD) of aluminum is a vacuum plating process which ionizes and deposits high purity aluminum on a wide variety of substrates. The process is similar to conventional plating operations, in that it requires strict preparatory steps, processing time and finishing measures for parts to have proper coating adhesion, uniformity and smoothness upon completion. Following the cleaning and pretreatment steps, parts can be selectively masked to prevent build up in threaded holes and/or surfaces as desired. After racking or barrel plating, and the coating has been built to the prescribed thickness, parts are removed from the vacuum chamber and undergo a glass bead peen to compact the aluminum, as well as check for adhesion and to cosmetically improve the appearance of the finished product. The glass bead peen is a 100% quality check, as any flaw in the coating adhesion would become apparent at this time. Optional post-treatment with a chromate conversion coating can prepare the aluminum surface for additional finishing, and improves the overall corrosion performance of the coating.

Benefits & Properties

There are many reasons for choosing IVD Aluminum coating, but the following are the most common combinations of substrates and operating environments:

IVD Aluminum on Steel Substrate

This process provides excellent “sacrificial” corrosion resistance with no hydrogen embrittlement. A Class 1 coating (or 0.001-0.0015” thick coating) averages 7,500 hour life in 5% neutral salt. Other benefits include a useful operating temperature up to 925°F and galvanic compatibility with other aluminum structures.

IVD Aluminum on Heat and Corrosion Resistant Alloys:

Provides the same benefits as with steel, plus oxidation resistance at high temperature as-deposited, and significantly higher after high-temperature diffusion. The coating may be deposited directly on the substrate without special preparation such as nickel strike.

IVD Aluminum on Titanium Substrate:

Provides the same benefits as with steel, plus the coating can be anodized or hard anodized to improve wear resistance, low absorption-high emissivity, dielectric, color and all other desirable properties of anodic coatings on aluminum. The coating also retards titanium combustion and permits painting and adhesive bonding using the same techniques as used on aluminum.

IVD Aluminum on Aluminum Substrate:

Adds corrosion resistance to high strength aluminum alloys without compromising fatigue resistance, as will occur with anodizing. Allows use of casting and microcrystalline alloys in applications normally restricted to wrought materials. Provides corrosion resistance in applications where electrical continuity or bond is required, eliminating “jumper” connections.


MIL-C-83488 or MIL-DTL-83488

  • Class 1: 0.0010” minimum thickness
  • Class 2: .0005” minimum thickness
  • Class 3: .0003” minimum thickness
  • Type I (Without Chromate Conversion Coating)
  • Type II (With Chromate Conversion Coating per MIL-C-5541, Class 1A available)


  • Dash number “-3”: 0.0003” to .0008” thick
  • Dash number “-5”: 0.0005” to .0010” thick
  • Dash number “-10”: 0.0010” to 0.0015” thick
  • (Chromate Conversion Coating per MIL-C-5541, Class 1A available)


  • Increases Corrosion-Resistance
  • Increases Galvanic Compatibility
  • Increases Useful Operating Temperature
  • Non-Toxic, Non-Hazardous, Non-Polluting
  • Suitable Base for Paints & Solid Film Lubricants
  • Uniformity

Typical Applications

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Computers & Electronics
  • Commercial & Military Aircraft
  • Engine Components
  • Fasteners
  • Fittings & Connectors
  • Springs
  • Turbines

Available on a Wide Variety of Substrates

  • Steel
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Alloys
  • Titanium
  • Aluminum
  • Demagnetized Neodymium
  • Some Ceramics

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