Understanding Thermal Spray Technology

Especially within the past couple of decades, the importance of thermal spray technology has increased drastically due to the rising demands on components. The process involves the heating or melting of wire feedstock or powder by using designated torches. This accelerates the particles toe the component being coated. Then, a coating is formed by impacting and cooling those particles.

The process of thermal spray technology has become widely accepted across a vast number of industries. The combining of surface and structural demands that many industries face require the outstanding strength, wear resistance and corrosion resistance that this process provides. In addition, the process is incredibly economical.

Types of Thermal Spray Coatings

In general, there are three main types of thermal spray coatings, which include air plasma, electric arc wire, low pressure plasma spray system, powder combustion, premium HVOF coatings and wire combustion.

The most advanced method applying chromium carbide or hard tungsten coating using this type of technology is high velocity oxygen fuel coating, or HVOF. These materials in fine powder form are deposited at high speeds onto the surface of the component to be coated. This creates an exceptionally dense adherent deposit.

Coatings can also be ground to a mirror finish through the use of a diamond wheel. As an alternative, it can also be left unfinished to provide a more gripping surface. A number of additional hard facing materials can also be deposited by using this particular technique.

Through the use of thermal spray technology, high performance surfaces are considerably more resistant to corrosion, wear and damage from heat. This technology can also be used for special applications like electrical conduction or insulation, thermal emission and X-ray emission. As a matter of fact, one of the most common applications of this type of technology is the repair and buildup of components that have been worn.

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