Galvanotechnics

Conversion of existing electroplating plants to a process technology with minimum material losses and simultaneous cost reduction: electroplating repairs

The production-integrated optimisation measures demonstrated generate cost savings of 80% and are particularly suitable for electroplating plants which have specialised in aircraft repairs. A substantial proportion of these savings are associated with the vacuum evaporation process which has been developed for the recovery of potassium silver cyanide.

Summary


The repair of damaged aircraft components is undertaken in specialised workshops which require comprehensive electroplating facilities for the demetallization of surfaces to be repaired.

This project involved the analysis of environmentally-relevant processes in an electroplating repair shop and the optimisation of these processes in accordance with the following objectives:

  • The reduction of waste water flows
  • The recovery of valuable materials
  • The achievement of economic benefit with limited investment expenditure
  • The maintenance of high process reliability and security

Results:

Comparative cost calculations for the actual situation and potential options for optimisation have been used for the development of a preferred variant involving the following specific measures:

  • Optimisation of rinsing technology by the incorporation of additional rinse cycles and the separate collection and reconcentration of cadmium-bearing waste waters.
  • Optimisation of the existing ion exchange installation through the closure of the processing cycle, series connection and counterflow regeneration.
  • Reduction of energy use in hot flow rinse cycles by the incorporation of regulating valves and heat exchangers.
  • Optimised fluoride separation from exhaust air by the use of additional gas scrubbers and the separate purification of reconcentrated waste waters.
  • Extension of regeneration cycles for hot degreasing process solutions.
  • Recovery of potassium silver cyanide in the silvering process by the use of vacuum evaporation.

The total calculated cost reduction associated with all these optimisation measures is 80%.

The measure defined for the “silver” process stage has already been implemented during the term of the project, and has generated a cost saving of 32%.

Project Participants

Implementing Institutions

Lufthansa Technik AG

Cooperation Partner

TU Berlin (Fachgebiet Abfallvermeidung und Sekundärrohstoffwirtschaft)

Gesellschaft für umweltkompatible Prozeßtechnik mbH (upt)

Technische Universität Dresden

More Project Information

Project title: Conversion of existing electroplating plants to a process technology with minimum material losses and simultaneous cost reduction: electroplating repairs

Project number: 01RK9812/2

Project period: 1998 - 2001

Project region: Germany

Project contact:

Herr Dipl.-Ing. Gaedicke
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Source: German National Library of Science and Technology Hannover (TIB)