Ten Diverse Applications for Thermal Spraying

Thermal spraying, also commonly called metal spraying, is a covering process the place where a wide selection of metals or ceramics could be sprayed onto the surface of another material. You will find untold uses because of this – here’s 10 applications for starters…

1. Wind Turbines

Atmospheric corrosion causes injury to wind turbines. It’s because of this many manufacturers specify thermal sprayed zinc or zinc/aluminium alloys as a way of corrosion protection. Thermal sprayed coatings – utilizing the arc spray process – give a resilient finish, which will be less susceptible to damage than many paint coatings.

2. Oil Industry – Pipes, Risers and Structures

Oil industry pipes, risers and structures are often exposed to harsh elements and oil and gas platform structures take advantage of the applying of thermal sprayed aluminium (TSA). This is done utilizing the arc or flame spray process, containment coating where the molten material is atomised by a cone of compressed air and propelled towards the pipes. This spray solidifies when it hits the surface to form a dense coating, which protects against corrosion for in excess of 20 years in the harshest of environments.

3. Bridges

There’s usually heavy footfall or traffic over bridges so metal spraying them is ideal, as not just does it protects from corrosion – it also helps extend a bridge’s life. The flame spray process, where the wire is fed by a driven roller system through the centre of an oxygen-fuel gas flame and is melted, is fantastic for protecting bridges. This is demonstrated to be the very best protection from corrosion and provides protection for 20 years to first maintenance.

4. Petro-chemical Plants

In the petro-chemical industry, Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) – where accelerated corrosion can occur under wet insulation – consumes a substantial percentage of maintenance budgets. By protecting against CUI, companies can move towards inspection-free and maintenance-free piping systems and significantly reduce maintenance costs. The spraying metal process is the ideal solution for the protection of refinery and process plant vessels, tanks and steel fabrications, as it’s proven to be always a very robust coating solution for protecting against CUI.

5. Structural Steelwork

The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai is one of the most famous steel structures that’s been metal sprayed. In total, 10,000 m2 of steel work was arc sprayed, such as the heli deck frame work, roof mounted mast and 6 diagonal support braces. The aluminium coating should protect the Burj Al Arab from corrosion for about 15 to 20 years, even in the harsh, coastal environment in which it’s situated.

6. Seam Spraying Of ERW Tubes

Tubes are produced on a tube forming mill by Electrical Resistance Welding (ERW) the longitudinal seam. During the welding process, the heat generated destroys the external coating across the weld area. Unless the ERW seam is protected, this area will corrode. The best way to safeguard it is to spray the seam with a product that’s similar corrosion resistant properties. This corrosion resistant tube has numerous uses, including domestic and garden furniture, car seat frames, parking barriers, balustrades and even car exhaust pipes.

7. LPG Cylinders

Metal spraying can be used to safeguard LPG, propane gas or butane gas bottles against corrosion. Gas cylinders are often refurbished and, within that process, the surface of the bottles is grit blasted to prepare it prior to spraying with zinc. LPG cylinders usually are sprayed utilizing the arc spray process.

8. Architectural Coatings

There are lots of creative architectural coating solutions for things such as balcony parts, such as support columns, balcony decks and curved railings, and decorative window and door frames. If used externally, they will be put through the corrosive ramifications of the elements so must be protected. Metal spraying is fantastic for this, as being a cold process there is no danger of distortion or fettling, unlike with hot dip galvanising. There’s also the opportunity to make use of different coatings, such as bronze or copper, to suit with the entire design scheme.

9. Metal Spraying Versus Galvanising

Metal Spraying has many advantages for plenty of industries, as well as being fully a great alternative to hot dip galvanising, that may cause distortion to the structures being dipped. Galvanising is a hot process whereas metal spraying is a cold process. The benefits of metal spraying include: no distortion as a result of heat, allowing sealed hollow fabrications to be treated without the chance of explosion; no size limit; carried on site; when equipment’s not being used it can be powered down – saving money.

10. Film Industry Sets And Artistic Coatings

Polystyrene props are popular on film industry stage sets, as they’re simple to manage. To produce them more robust, the polystyrene is metal sprayed with zinc and steel. This makes the props stronger and less vulnerable to dents when being moved across the set and reduces artwork time. Arc spraying is fantastic for using on polystyrene, whilst the molten particles created during the process only hold a small amount of heat energy. This heat dissipates quickly as it pertains into experience of the large surface of the polystyrene.

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