Dec 20, 2011 – 13 new substances sent to European Commission for inclusion in REACH Annex XIV. Substances in Annex XIV cannot be used in the EU without Authorization – a very complicated, expensive, and limited duration proposition.
Chromium trioxide (chromic acid) is one of the most important of all plating chemicals. It is the fundamental building block for hard chrome plating, and is often used for decorative chrome plating as well. Without hard chrome plating many of the major European industries would find it hard to function, including steel and aluminum production (where it is used on mill rolls), and plastics production (where it is used on molds). In addition chromic acid and sodium dichromate are the most common conversion coatings used for aircraft skins, and since hard chrome plating is still widely used for aircraft actuators and landing gear, these chemicals are essential to the European aerospace industry.
Just to make life more complicated, the listed cobalt salts are essential for most of the trivalent passivation alternatives used for zinc alloys, including for the ZnNi coatings that have taken the place of cadmium in the automotive industry, and the similar LHE ZnNi that is beginning to replace Cd plating in aerospace.
As far as we are aware chromic acid is the only one of these substances for which a Consortium has been set up for Authorization. Individual companies may be seeking Authorization for some other substances, such as sodium dichromate, but if not these chemicals will become unavailable in Europe in 2015.
As of June 2011 these had not yet been adopted by the Commission.