IVD Library


Overview of IVD

Let us help you understand what Ion Vapor Deposited Aluminum is, or I.V.D. as it is commonly known. It was developed by McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis for the Air Force. The intent is to show that this is an effective coating for replacing cadmium for both the aerospace and commercial market. It was developed to solve a number of different problems. Corrosion was the major problem, I.V.D. also avoids hydrogen embrittlement, galvanic corrosion, dissimilar metal problems, solid metal embrittlement (cadmium in contact with titanium), fatigue reduction vs. weight (on aluminum), and has worked in space. The process is the same no matter what size the chamber. The standard procedures are degreasing the parts, aluminum oxide, clean/grit blast, I.V.D., glass bead, and then chromate seal.
Back to top


IVD Process

The I.V.D. process begins once the parts are clean and put into an I.V.D. Chamber. It is pumped down to a very low vacuum (8 x 10 -5) at which time a power supply is turned on and the chamber is back filled with argon. This is called glow discharge cleaning. Then the chamber is pumped down again and ceramic heat resistant elements called boats are heated. Next, 99.9 high purity aluminum wire is fed into them and vaporized. The I.V.D. process is versatile and adaptable to a wide variety of parts, shapes, and sizes. It is basically a line of sight process with some wrap around. The current military specification for this is Mil-DTL-83488 Revision C. In this specification, there are three classes and two types. The coating thickness is controlled by the class call out:

Mil-DTL-83488

Table 1

Type I
Spray Test (hours)

Type II
Spray Test (hours)

Class 1 .001 Minimum 504 672
Class 2 .0005 Minimum 336 504
Class 3 .0003 Minimum 168 336

Class 1 is used for rack coating parts or wherever good corrosion protection is needed.

Class 2 is used where there might be some close tolerance that needs to be held. The blue print can call out other thicknesses.

Class 3 is basically used for fasteners where the threads cannot stand a large build-up.

The Type 1 call out is for “as coated” or coated and glass beaded. The Type II call out is for glass bead and a chromate conversion coat. The replacements for chromate conversion coating work for I.V.D. the same as they do for other aluminum alloys.
Back to top


Advantages of IVD

The use of I.V.D. Aluminum has many known advantages. Some of the advantages are:

I.V.D. Aluminum is the US Government’s choice as a cadmium replacement for all branches of the service: The Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. Military Handbook 1568 (USAF) Materials and Processes for Corrosion Prevention and Control in Aerospace Systems, identifies I.V.D. Aluminum as an acceptable alternative to cadmium, citing its corrosion protection and non-toxic properties.
Back to top


IVD Programs

The following is a list of programs using I.V.D.:

  • Military
  • Aircraft Military
  • Aircraft Commercial
  • Helicopters
  • Missile
  • Misc. Military
  • Commercial
  • Industrial Turbines
  • Steam Turbine Blades
  • Fasteners
  • Neodymium Magnets
  • Fuel Cell Components
  • Engine Mounts

Back to top