Specifically, the Trion SAFE Chrome® mission is to achieve comparable efficacy performance of hexavalent chrome (hex chrome), while eliminating the dangerous health and safety issues, along with water and environmental contamination consequences that are directly linked to HEX chrome. The SAFE Chrome® process has been rigorously tested to meet various ASTM and industry specifications for wear resistance, hardness, adhesion, corrosion, and other deposit characteristics. SAFE Chrome® delivers a trivalent chrome finish that is environmentally friendly, does not contain PFOS or PFAS compounds, and does not use chromium trioxide or chromic acid, therefore eliminating hazardous hexavalent chromium. As an alternative to hard chrome plating, the SAFE Chrome® process also uses far less energy and plates at a faster rate. With SAFE Chrome®, your chrome plating shop doesn’t require as many additives to operate as other trivalent chrome products.
Trion Coatings, LLC was founded by a team of entrepreneurs including its current President, Doug Morrison and Chief Scientist Mauricio Guzman. It was subsequently acquired by Middleburg Capital Development (MCD) and NUCOR Steel in 2015. Located within Innovation Park’s IDEA Center at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, development of Trion’s SAFE Chrome®, ionic liquid-based technology, was spawned by a commitment to eliminate cancerous hexavalent chromium generated from existing hard chromium and decorative chromium electroplating processes in the surface finishing industry.
The US Army has embraced Trion’s technology and is collaborating with Trion in further application development for its own national security applications.
Notre Dame University is widely regarded as a global center of excellence for ionic liquid technologies. Ionic Liquids are a type of solvent made up entirely of ions, melting below 100 degrees C / 212 degrees F, having a very low vapor pressure. Low vapor pressure makes ionic liquids safe to handle in an open atmospheric environment, while also reducing material concerns related to hazardous emissions. Trion has perfected a process to chemically tailor an ionic liquid to a given surface finishing application. This new Trion technology is, patented, is game changing, and differentiates Trion’s SAFE Chrome® technology from any and all traditional aqueous based chemistries.
Trion has developed and designed synthetic routes that remove plating cost as a barrier to using ionic liquids for surface finishing technologies including functional and decorative chrome electroplating. Trion’s SAFE Chrome® technology has a cost structure comparable to traditional aqueous hexavalent chromium technology. SAFE Chrome is truly a green chemistry. Our focus has been to leverage the advantages of ionic liquids for electrochemical applications, such as providing easier reactions at the cathode and decreasing hydrogen evolution.