REACH Compliant Surfaces

REACH Compliant Surfaces

The REACH regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, is a European Union Regulation that aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks posed by chemicals.

CIDETEC is working on surfaces that avoid the use of harmful compounds, enabling companies to comply with this regulation.
The most common treatments affected by the REACH regulation are:

Hard chromium
Decorative chromium
Plastic etching for metallisation
Conversion coatings
Cadmium plating

Among the different compounds regulated by REACH, hexavalent chromium has the biggest impact on the surface finishing industry. After more than 30 years of research, numerous studies have found that no compound matches all the advantages of hexavalent chromium, ranging from a triple corrosion inhibition mechanism and improved paint adhesion, through to high hardness and wear resistance.

The substitution strategy needs to review existing treatments, compounds and stabilising inhibitors, develop multistage processes, implement in-line monitoring systems, and create regeneration systems for surface treatment processes. It is essential that we assume that without hexavalent chromium there will be no generic solutions and that each case will have to be tackled individually.

What do we offer?

CIDETEC Surface Engineering is committed to providing customised solutions and expertise that will allow companies to avoid using non-REACH-compliant substances. Our research is focused on ensuring that REACH-compliant surfaces can outperform their current non-REACH-compliant equivalent surfaces, while being cost-effective and suitable for their specific applications.

CIDETEC is working on a range of technologies, including:

  • Electroless nickel
  • Trivalent chromium plating
  • Cr-free etching for metallisation
  • Cr-free conversion coatings
  • Cr-free anodising
  • Sol-gel
  • Anaphoretic e-coating
  • n-Ni plating
  • Cr-free primers
  • Ceramic coatings and cements
  • Metal matrix composite coatings

Who is it for?

For the whole coating industry value chain: chemical suppliers, finishing industry, part and component manufacturers, end-users/OEMs.

End users:




Oil & gas


Consumer goods


You name
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Our capabilities and infrastructure

We develop customised solutions to provide competitive REACH- compliant surfaces adapted to the final conditions of use.

We have an interdisciplinary team with strong skills and extensive experience in different industrial sectors, capable of carrying out cutting-edge research focused on different needs. Our fully equipped laboratories and pilot-plant facilities also allow our solutions to be applied and tested in pre-industrial conditions:

R&D laboratories
  • For the design, synthesis, and chemical analysis of formulations.
  • For testing and characterisation of coatings and materials: adhesion, morphology, composition, structure, aesthetics, wettability, roughness, hardness, scratch resistance, ageing and corrosion, etc.
Pilot lines for wet chemistry
  • Automated and on-line monitored galvanic pilot plants.
  • Robotised brush plating plant.
  • Robotised spray application booth for both organic and metallic coatings.

Any questions?