Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

Chromium Replacement in Gun Barrel Bores


Provide an environmentally compliant, chromium-free advanced coating or other surface treatment that meets or exceeds the properties of hard (hexavalent) chromium plating for the protection of gun barrel bore surfaces.

Technical Approach

Assesses relevant coating technologies (processes and materials) which may be applicable to the coating of gun bore surfaces

  • Select candidate coating processes and further develop (adapt and modify) those which may be suitable for coating gun bores in the desired range
  • Evaluate the processes in laboratory trials and simulated service tests
  • Select a suitable weapon system; coat and conduct an in-service firing demonstration


The anticipated benefits of this project include the replacement of environmentally hazardous hard chromium plating while meeting or exceeding the performance of hard chromium plating, a life-cycle extension for military gun barrels, and a cost-effective manufacturing technology for application to production of conventional and advanced performance guns. A cost savings in excess of $1 million per year is projected for each production lot of 10,000 medium-caliber weapons (i.e., the USN Phalanx, US Army Bushmaster).


Utilize the technology in upgrades of medium-caliber weapons systems, including the USN Phalanx, USMC/USAF Vulcan, USA Bushmaster, and USAF GAU-8

  • Continue evaluating alternative coating technologies for use in medium-caliber weapon systems
  • Coordinate with ARDEC Cannon Wear and Erosion Integrated Product Team
  • Implement through normal procurement channels and private production agencies, governed by appropriate military performance requirements