Thermal spray coatings is a collective term that embraces a group of coatings processes that are used in a wide range of industrial applications. In thermal spray coating processes, micron-size metallic or nonmetallic base materials (feed-stock) are sprayed onto a prepared substrate where the materials assume a solid coating form. The resulting coating imparts desired surface properties to the substrate while maintaining the substrate’s unique properties. For example, wear rings made from light, strong, chemical-resistant titanium can be coated with hard, wear-resistant tungsten carbide.
Thermal spray coatings are most often used to protect components and products from wear, temperature extremes and corrosion. However, thermal spray coatings have also been used as dielectric materials, to promote electrical conductivity, to protect buildings from external environmental conditions like rain and humidity, for use as EMI/RFI shielding, for use as a thermal barrier, and for hard chrome replacement.
Here are some of the industrial benefits of thermal spray coatings:
Improve Properties. Some coatings are used to confer certain properties which the substrate lacks but are necessary for an industrial operation: for example, conductivity, electrical isolation, traction and release.
Improve Part Performance and Lengthen Component Life. The application of a thermal spray coating can reduce erosion, corrosion or abrasion to a substrate, thereby reducing the costs of replacing expensive base materials.
Restoration of Failing Parts. Worn and corroded parts, which would otherwise be scrapped, can often be reclaimed using thermal spray coatings. The part can be brought back to specification again and again, yielding considerable savings over time.
Industrial Chrome Plate Replacement. Since the government has nearly forbidden the use of hexavalent chrome, a dangerous chemical used in the chrome plating process, users of chrome plating have been forced to find a replacement. Not only have flame spray coatings been found to be an effective alternative, they are also safe and environmentally friendly because the process produces a leftover powder that is not generally soluble and is easy to recycle.
Reduced downtime and costs, improved productivity.
To accommodate varying service conditions and the numerous properties and characteristics of today’s coating materials and substrates, the thermal spray coatings industry employs a number of advanced coating processes. The principle factors that distinguish one process from another are the heat source and the feed-stock material used for deposition. Here is a brief summary of the processes most commonly employed by Longevity Coatings. For a fuller explanation of each process, click on the link after each summary.