Plasma Spray Coating Services

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Plasma Spray Coating Info & Benefits

Plasma Spray Coating

Plasma spray coating is a thermal spray coating process used to produce a high quality coating by a combination of high temperature, high energy heat source, a relatively inert spraying medium, usually argon, and high particle velocities.

Plasma is the term used to describe gas which has been raised to such a high temperature that it ionizes and becomes electrically conductive.

The utilization of plasma spray coating technology allows the spraying of almost any metallic or ceramic on to a large range of materials with exceptional bond strength, while minimizing distortion of the substrate.

As the technology specialists in plasma spray, Flame Spray Coating Co. provides an array of thermal spray coating materials to suit your specific needs. Backed by a customer-driven service, our facilities process a wide variety of component sizes to exacting standards with reliable, repeatable results.

The great advantage of the plasma spray coating technique is its ability to spray a wide range of materials, from metals to refractory ceramics, on both small and large components offering:

  • corrosion protection
  • wear resistance
  • clearance control - abrasives and abradables
  • heat and oxidation resistance
  • temperature management
  • electrical resistivity and conductivity

Due to its versatility and excellent characteristics the plasma spray coating process is selected by many technologists as a process which offers the widest choice of coating materials.

  • Fretting wear, spraying of tungsten carbide/cobalt seal ring grooves - gas turbines;
  • High temperature protection, thermal barrier coatings -tbcs onto gas turbine combustion hardware;
  • Wear resistance, spraying of chrome oxide ceramic onto printing rolls for laser engraving;
  • Anti-galling, spraying of molybdenum alloys onto industrial diesel engine piston rings; and
  • Erosion / abrasion resistance - down hole tool - oil and gas product.

Carbides, metallics, ceramics, abradables.

A plasma spray coating offers solutions to many different applications in low and high temperature environments.

Most commercial plasma guns are fundamentally simple in design, consisting of a chamber and front nozzle (anode) in which there is an orifice. The chamber and nozzle are water-cooled. At the rear of the chamber is nother electrode, also water-cooled. This rear electrode is non-consumable and is fashioned from thoriated tungsten (see graphic above). A port, somewhere within the chamber, allows the high-pressure plasma forming gas, or gases, to enter. A high-frequency spark initiates operation and is discontinued upon ignition. It should be noted that the high-pressure gas cools the outer layer of the plasma arc so extreme heat is kept away from the nozzle bore.

Typical plasma forming gases include argon, nitrogen, hydrogen and helium. They may be used either alone or in combination: viz, argon-hydrogen, argon-helium, nitrogen-hydrogen, etc. Argon and nitrogen are generally utilized as primary plasma gases and hydrogen is favored as a secondary as it aids in producing a "hotter" plasma. Nitrogen is less expensive than argon so, based on economics, is more widely used than argon. Helium tends to expand the plasma and when used in combination with argon produces a "high velocity plasma" that exits the nozzle at about 488 m/sec (1,600 ft/sec). Argon/hydrogen and nitrogen/hydrogen exit velocities have been measured at roughly 366 m/sec (1,200 ft/sec). As most plasma guns are designed to spray powders, the powder is introduced through an external port at the nozzle orifice. Hardware is also available for injecting powder internally upstream into the nozzle bore. The primaryplasma forming gas is usually used as a carrier to transport the powder to the plasma stream.

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