Secoa Metal Finishing

Thermal Spray Coating: Processes And Choice Criteria

Thermal Spray Coating: Processes And Choice Criteria

Thermal spray originated in the late 19th century. Between 1882 and 1889, M.U. Schoop registered patents for the earlier predecessor of a thermal spray coating process. By the end of World War II, advances made the process more economically feasible and improved the overall capabilities of the application. Today, it is possible to apply a variety of both metallic and non-metallic coatings to materials.

Four Categories

The application of such coatings falls into one of four major categories. These are:

  • Flame Spray
  • Electric Arc Spray
  • Plasma Arc Spray
  • High-velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF)

These supply the energy to heat the material used in the coating process. The result is either a molten or a semi-molten state. In turn, these heated particles are propelled towards the designated surface in one of two ways:

  • Gases
  • Atomization jets

The particles hit the surface and bond with it to create the effect specified by the client. For thicker layers, the operator will apply further layers of the sprayed particles.

Choice Criteria

At Secoa Technology, we select the appropriate thermal spray method by talking to our clients and considering the variables including:

  • Requirements: What is the purpose of the coating? What will be the working environment?
  • Preference: What type of coating do you want?
  • Budget: What is your budget?
  • Size, Shape, and Thickness: What are the size, shape and thickness of the components?
  • The Surface of the Workpiece: Is it a single-phase material e.g. metal, a composite or layered?

Having this information will help us decide the ideal thermal spray coating for the surface substrate of the workpiece.

Thermal Spray Coating

Thermal spray is an evolving technology. At Secoa Technology, our professional staff is here to help guide you in your choice of the right thermal spray coating for your components. Whether you are looking for one that provides water or resistance or even both, our technicians are ready to offer their expertise.

Thermal Spray – Process and Benefits

Thermal spraying technologies have been around for nearly 40 years, but within the last decade or so the technological capabilities have grown significantly. Metal finishers are now able to produce truly high-performance coatings from a wide range of materials and for a variety of applications. Thermal spray finishing can be applied to anything from electronics to heat engines. At Secoa Technology, we are dedicated to providing you with high quality, reliable metal finishing services. We have a skilled and knowledgeable team that is able to provide you with consistent coatings for all of your finishing needs.

The Process

The basic steps in applying a thermal spray coating include:

  • Part preparation
  • Masking and fixturing
  • Coating
  • Finishing
  • Inspecting

Usually, thermal spraying involves the spraying of molten material onto a part in order to provide an ultra-fine-grain finish. The material being sprayed onto the part comes in a powder form and is melted in a flame to form a fine spray. The most common flames are oxy-acetylene or hydrogen based. The molten particles are accelerated by the flame and impact onto a metal surface that has been prepared for finishing. The molten powder solidifies quickly in order to form the coating. When done properly, the part being finished is kept at a relatively low temperature in order to avoid compromising the component. In this case, the thermal spraying process is known as cold processing.

Advantages of the Thermal Spray Process

The main advantage of this spray process is that it allows for a large choice in coatings. A wide range of materials can be processed in powder form, so you have more choices on the type of coating you would like to have on your part. This process is limited only by materials that require a higher melting point than the flame can provide or ones that are compromised when they are heated.

When shopping for high-quality thermal spray coating services, Secoa Technology is an excellent choice. We have vast experience in the metal finishing industry and aim to work with our customers in order to provide customized metal finishing services that will meet strict industry standards.