Thermal Spray Coatings

Thermal spraying is a group of processes wherein a feedstock material is heated and propelled as individual particles or droplets onto a surface. The thermal spray gun generates the necessary heat by using combustible gases or an electric arc. As the materials are heated, they are changed to a plastic or molten state and are confined and accelerated by a compressed gas stream to the substrate. The particles strike the substrate, flatten, and form thin platelets (splats) that conform and adhere to the irregularities of the prepared substrate and to each other. As the sprayed particles impinge upon the surface, they cool and build up, splat by splat, into a laminar structure forming the thermal spray coating.


Figure illustrates a typical coating cross section of the laminar structure of oxides and inclusions. The coating that is formed is not homogeneous and typically contains a certain degree of porosity, and, in the case of sprayed metals, the coating will contain oxides of the metal. Feedstock material may be any substance that can be melted, including metals, metallic compounds, cements, oxides, glasses, and polymers. Feedstock materials can be sprayed as powders, wires, or rods. The bond between the substrate and the coating may be mechanical, chemical, or metallurgical or a combination of these. The properties of the applied coating are dependent on the feedstock material, the thermal spray process and application parameters, and post treatment of the applied coating.

HVOF Coating

HVOF is same in theory to combustion flame spraying, but it uses a different torch design that enables the flame to expand when the spray nozzle is activated. This causes a surge in acceleration, which in turn accelerates the mixture particles. When the mixture is released from the nozzle, the velocity of the mixture leads […]