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Delegates from several of the World’s leading aerospace and defence companies including BAE Systems, Boeing, Rolls-Royce and Thales, together with other key members of the UK’s aerospace surface finishing supply chain gathered in Manchester on the 23rd of July for the first “Aerospace Coatings and REACh Seminar” held in the UK.

Organised by Pexa and AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings and held at the Concorde Visitor centre at Manchester Airport, the seminar brought around 50 attendees up to date with the impact of the EU Regulation for the registration and authorisation of chemicals “REACh”. The aerospace industry makes significant use of chromate containing pigments for the corrosion protection of aircraft and the use of these substances will be significantly impacted by REACh. Pexa and AkzoNobel are developing a position as industry leaders in the management of this issue and the provision of solutions.

Speakers Maurizio Pulcini and Hans Polak of AkzoNobel and Jim Rowbotham of Pexa interpreted and presented the current status of REACh, how it will be implemented and the authorisation path for hexavalent chromates in the surface coating process. It is Pexa and AkzoNobel’s intention to provide all the necessary support to companies using chromates to enable them to do so within an authorisation and, at the same time, to provide “best in class” alternatives to chromate containing primers to allow the industry to minimise their use.

A healthy question and answer workshop took place, where important concerns were discussed. Pexa and AkzoNobel will hold more such events, as this important issue evolves, and will try to maintain a key user group of companies involved in this process so that information is shared and discussed within the industry.

Delegates were able to take a guided tour of the Concorde G-BOAC which is housed at the venue at Manchester airport, an interesting case study in aerospace materials.

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