Thermal spray is a coating process used to deposit metallic and nonmetallic materials onto a workpiece. The coating material (feedstock) may be in powder, rod, or wire form, and is heated via flame or electricity to a semi-molten or liquid state (depending on the feedstock material). The feedstock then propelled onto the substrate at high speeds via compressed air or gas, producing an immediate bond upon impact.
There are a number of variations of thermal spraying, each with its own unique advantages. The benefits of the thermal spraying process in general include, but are not limited to:
Provides a solution for numerous problems: Depending on the feedstock material and the thermal spray method, these coatings can offer protection against corrosion, erosion, wear, oxidation, material fatigue, high temperatures, and more; thermal coatings can also improve dielectric properties and surface grip strength.
A wide range of coating materials can be used: Metals, alloys, ceramics, cermets (ceramic-metallics), and numerous other materials can be used in thermal spay coating. A comprehensive array of materials allows for coatings that better meet performance requirements.
Coating thicknesses can vary as needed: Depending on the desired effect, coatings ranging from 0.002” to 0.250” or thicker can be added to the workpiece. Only very slight changes to the given thermal spray process are needed to alter the thickness of the coating.
No adverse thermal effects: Though it is called “thermal spraying,” it is in fact relatively “cold,” allowing substrates to remain below 300°F during processing. The coating material itself does not need to fuse with the workpiece to form a bond. This minimizes thermal degradation of the substrate and allows thermally-sensitive components to be coated effectively.
Complex parts can receive uniform coatings across all surfaces: Through expert manipulation of the spray equipment and/or the workpiece, parts with even the most unusual geometries can be evenly coated.
Part repair and reclamation: Coatings of the same or similar materials as the workpiece can be used to restore worn or damaged parts to their original dimensions. The cost of repairing a component via thermal spray is usually lower than the cost of replacement.
- Thermal Spray Coatings by ASB Industries http://www.asbindustries.com/thermal-spray-coatings
- FAQ: What are the benefits of thermal spraying? http://www.praxairsurfacetechnologies.com/na/us/pst/pst.nsf/0/52E8B4E608B4BB04852576A50056FB73?OpenDocument
- The Advantages of Thermal Spray http://www.pfonline.com/articles/the-advantages-of-thermal-spray
- Thermal Spray Uses http://www.plasmagiken.com/appli/index.html