A thermal spray coat is a coating that is applied to a surface. These coatings provide a variety of benefits and are used in various materials. These benefits include wear resistance, electrical insulation, corrosion protection, and thermal dissipation. The process provides superior performance across a variety of industries.
Thermal spray technology was developed in the early 1900s and has made great strides since then and continues to change the market landscape.
Thermal spray is an alternative to other processes for protecting metals from wear, corrosion, and further damage. There are several different sprays, and the process depends on the materials involved.
One common type is wire arc spray. This process melts the feedstock material at the tip of the wire and then propels tiny droplets of molten material onto the substrate. This method is significant for aerospace but is also used for industrial structures.
Another popular technique is plasma spraying. Plasma spraying uses a high-temperature plasma to apply a coating to a surface. While it is similar to thermal spray, it utilizes a much more comprehensive range of feedstock materials. Many of these materials have a higher melting point than traditional alloys. Powder-based thermal spray processes have also advanced significantly in recent decades. For details on Plasma Spray, visit Poetons, a provider of Plasma Spray services.
Flame spraying is another method most commonly used to apply corrosion-resistant carbides. The process involves heating and melting the powdered metal feedstock material. Depending on the type of spraying, the particles can be atomized with compressed air or injected into the flame. Once the feedstock material has been melted, it is fed into the application device. The gun repeatedly traverses over the surface during the application, resulting in a continuous coating.
Another method is laser cladding. This process is used to create microstructures in the material. Laser cladding is especially useful for producing thick coatings that are very dense. Other post-treatment processes can also be utilized to develop novel microstructures.
Several benefits of metal coatings include their ability to provide long-term corrosion protection and flexibility. Metal coatings can be applied in thicknesses ranging from a few micrometers to several millimeters, and they can be easily controlled and are compatible with on-site processing.
The technology has proven itself in various applications, including the oil and gas, mining, and shipping industries. It has shown great promise as a long-term solution to corrosion issues on steel structures. In the future, there is potential for other applications to emerge in the thermal spray market.
Depending on the materials involved, thermal spray can improve thermal insulation and provide high or low friction. In some cases, thermal spray can also be used as a replacement for nitride coatings.