Landing gear - corrosion cracking protection

Teamed-up with a Professor also at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Looked at issue with "300M" steel landing gears (the characteristic design of landing gear). Still getting corrosion-cracking problems and general call put out for solutions. Went to local landing gear manufacturer. Established that most failures are in the bearing / pivots features, where saline moisture can accumulate and wreak havoc over time. So if these failures in bearing features could be eliminated, would be a huge step in the right direction and would take current design "300M" steel landing gears to the end of their usability (they must ultimately be superceded, but that isn't happening just yet).

Whatever solution was found had to fit in the boxing-in constraint that at no point must the temperature of the landing gear components exceed 300C, which is the tempering temperature of 300M steel. Landing gears cannot be re-heat-treated after completion as the dimensional change on heat treatment is too great.

Asking around, the chemical engineers came up with this novel proposed solution of plating with amorphous intermetallic compounds - a somewhat powerful plating process but feasible given the simple cylindrical geometry of the parts to be plated. They said standard way of testing their samples before accepting them for detailed tests was leaving the plated steel sample in aqua regia (mixed concentrated nitric and sulphuric acids - will dissolve gold) for several weeks and measuring for zero weight loss.

Here is a pilot study on a small piece of "300M" landing gear steel.

The current density needed is so high that this lab. power supply could only plate a "window" about a millimetre square, which was left after Mrs Professor xxxx's nail-varnish had covered all the rest of the immersed area (note pink bottle mid-lower top picture - return required against threat of disruption to domestic harmony).

Steel can be seen in crocodile clip with orange connector on top in middle picture.