| NASF Education Director
Airline & Aerospace Finishing
The course consists of 21 lessons. Students successfully completing the exam will be awarded a Certified Aerospace Finisher (CAF) certification.
This training program is designed to be beneficial for employees and supervisors working in Airline/Aerospace OEMs, aircraft rework facilities and suppliers to the airline/ aerospace industry. Trainees should have at minimum a high school diploma. Some experience in processing parts for surface finishing is helpful but not required. The training materials and instruction are in English. In many cases, metric and/or US/English units of measurement are utilized. Students are taught how to convert between the two systems of measurement.
The goal of this course is to provide the student with a broad range of information related to metal finishing operations that are commonly conducted in the Airline/Aerospace industry.
- 1. Electroplating Basics
- This lesson presents basic chemistry, electrochemistry and electricity principles. It introduces the student to the concepts of atomic structure, valence, atomic and molecular weights, pH, and chemical equations. The student is also taught how to make basic electroplating calculations such as plating time, current density, and area of parts.
- 2. Corrosion of Metals
- This lesson provides basic corrosion principles related to a variety of corrosion mechanisms, including chemical attack, galvanic corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, filiform corrosion, and fretting corrosion. A discussion of the corrosion of commonly employed electrodeposits including cadmium, copper, hard chromium and nickel are provided.
- 3. Hydrogen Embrittlement
- This lesson will cover basic principles involved in the creation and elimination of hydrogen embrittlement effects of high strength-low alloy steels. Covered are:
- Hydrogen embrittlement mechanism
- Mitigation methods
- Operational conditions that minimize the problem
- 4. Metals & Alloys Utilized in Aerospace
- Issues related to the types of parts processed and the types of alloys that they are made from are detailed here. HSLA Steels, Stainless Steels, Aluminum alloys, high temperature alloys, titanium and magnesium are covered. A review of hydrogen embrittlement causes and remedies is also provided.
- 5. Chemical Surface Preparation of Substrates for Plating Substrates
- In this lesson, the student will be provided with a discussion of the various methods of cleaning parts prior to plating and other finishing processes. Included are:
- Vapor Degreasing
- Acid Pickling & Etching
- Sulfuric Acid (70% v/v)
- Sulfuric-Hydrofluoric Acid Immersion or Anodic Etch
- Nitric-Hydrofluoric Acid Immersion or Anodic Etch
- Hydrochloric Acid (Immersion / Electrolytic Treatments)
- Chromic Acid (Reverse Etch)
- Alkaline Electrocleaning (Immersion /Anodic/Periodic Reverse Treatments)
- Preparation Methods for
- Stainless Steels
- High Strength Steels Bronze
- Nickel base super alloys
- Chromium plated surfaces
- Nickel Plated Surfaces
- Strike Solutions
- Woods Nickel Chloride Strike
- Sulfamate Nickel Chloride Strike
- Copper Cyanide Strike
- Silver Strike
- 6. Mechanical Surface Preparation
- This lesson covers mechanical means of preparing parts for surface finishing. Included are:
- Dry Abrasive Blasting
- Aluminum Oxide
- Glass Beads
- Plastic Media
- Vapor Blast (Vapor Honing)
- Pumice/ Scotch Brite – Hand Scrub
- 7. Masking Techniques
- This lesson covers methods employed for selective plating. Included are:
- Hot Melts
- Proprietary Films
- Plated metal or Anodic films
- Permanent Masking methods
- 8. Quality Conformance Testing
- This lesson covers the more commonly conducted QA/QC tests utilized in aerospace:
- Hydrogen Embrittlement Testing
- Lawrence Gauge
- Salt Spray
- Hull Cell
- Surface Tension Measurements
- Plating Thickness
- Copper Sulfate Testing for Passivation
- Stress Tests
- Surface Temper Inspection
- Nital Etch
- Ammonium Persulfate Etch
- 9. Plating Solution Maintenance
- This lesson will detail the most commonly employed methods of maintain and purifying electroplating solutions, including:
- Carbon treatment
- Chemical Additions
- Solution Analysis
- Electrolytic Treatments
- 10. Chem Film
- This lesson provides guidance for processing parts to achieve a high quality chem film coating on the following substrates:
- Aluminum Alloys
- Magnesium Alloys
- Cadmium Alloys
- 11. Zinc and Manganese Phosphating
- This lesson will provide operational and troubleshooting guidance for zinc and manganese phosphate coatings, as applied in the aerospace industry.
- 12. LHE Zinc-Nickel Alloy Plating
- This lesson will provide chemistry, operation and troubleshooting guidance for the zinc-nickel plating process designated by Boeing as an alternate to the low embrittlement cadmium plating process.
- 13. Cadmium Ti-Cad and Nickel-Cad Diffused Coatings
- This lesson will provide the chemistry, operational conditions purification and troubleshooting of cyanide cadmium plating processes used in aerospace finishing.
- 14. Copper & Silver Plating
- This lesson will provide the chemistry, operational conditions purification and troubleshooting of cyanide copper and cyanide silver plating processes as used in aerospace finishing. Also included is guidance on operating strike solutions.
- 15. Sulfamate & Nickel Strike Plating
- This lesson will provide the chemistry, operational conditions purification and troubleshooting of sulfamate nickel plating processes as used in aerospace finishing. Also included is guidance on operating nickel strike solutions.
- 16. Hard Chromium Plating
- This lesson will provide the chemistry, operational conditions purification and troubleshooting of commonly utilized hard chromium plating processes.
- 17. Anodizing Aluminum
- This lesson covers the major anodizing processes used in aerospace, including Type I Chromic, Type II-Sulfuric, Type III hardcoat and alternates to chromic such as thin film Sulfuric Type IIb, and Sulfuric-boric Type Ic. Solution chemistries, best operational practices and control practices are covered.
- 18. Electroless Nickel Deposition
- This lesson will provide the chemistry, operational conditions purification and troubleshooting of electroless nickel plating processes used in aerospace finishing.
- 19. Brush Plating
- This lesson will provide operational guidance for obtaining sound plated deposits on selected areas of a part by using brush plating methods.
- 20. Stripping
- This lesson will provide the chemistry and operational conditions utilized in stripping typical aerospace coatings.
- 21. Thermal Spray & PVD
- This lesson will provide basic information on the most commonly used alternatives to electroplating:
- HVOF Spray
- Vacuum Deposition