Thermal spraying, also commonly known as metal spraying, is a covering process where a wide variety of metals or ceramics can be sprayed onto the top of another material. You can find untold uses for this – here’s 10 applications for starters…
1. Wind Turbines
Atmospheric corrosion causes damage 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 – utilising the arc spray process – offer a resilient finish, which is less prone to damage than many paint coatings.
2. Oil Industry – Pipes, Risers and Structures
Oil industry pipes, risers and structures in many cases are confronted with harsh elements and oil and gas platform structures take advantage of the application of thermal sprayed aluminium (TSA). This is done utilising the arc or flame spray process, spray coating where in actuality the molten material is atomised by way of a cone of compressed air and propelled towards the pipes. This spray solidifies when it hits the top to form a thick coating, which protects against corrosion for in excess of 20 years in the harshest of environments.
There’s usually heavy footfall or traffic over bridges so metal spraying them is ideal, as not merely does it protects from corrosion – in addition it helps extend a bridge’s life. The flame spray process, where in actuality the wire is fed by way of a driven roller system through the centre of an oxygen-fuel gas flame and is melted, is fantastic for protecting bridges. That is shown to be the very best protection from corrosion and can offer 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 significant 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 perfect solution for the protection of refinery and process plant vessels, tanks and steel fabrications, as it’s proven to become a very robust coating solution for protecting against CUI.
5. Structural Steelwork
The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai is one of the very famous steel structures that’s been metal sprayed. In total, 10,000 m2 of steel work was arc sprayed, like 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 approximately 15 to 20 years, even yet in the harsh, coastal environment where it’s situated.
6. Seam Spraying Of ERW Tubes
Tubes are produced on a pipe forming mill by Electrical Resistance Welding (ERW) the longitudinal seam. Throughout the welding process, heat generated destroys the external coating round the weld area. Unless the ERW seam is protected, this area will corrode. The perfect way to guard it is to spray the seam with a material 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 is used to guard LPG, propane gas or butane gas bottles against corrosion. Gas cylinders in many cases are refurbished and, as part of that process, the top of the bottles is grit blasted to organize it just before spraying with zinc. LPG cylinders are often sprayed utilising the arc spray process.
8. Architectural Coatings
There are lots of creative architectural coating solutions for things like balcony parts, such as for example support columns, balcony decks and curved railings, and decorative window and door frames. If used externally, they will be subjected to the corrosive effects of the weather so have to be protected. Metal spraying is fantastic for this, to be a cold process there’s no risk of distortion or fettling, unlike with hot dip galvanising. There’s also the chance to utilize different coatings, such as for example bronze or copper, to fit with the overall design scheme.
9. Metal Spraying Versus Galvanising
Metal Spraying has many advantages for lots 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 warm process whereas metal spraying is a cool process. The features of metal spraying include: no distortion as a result of heat, allowing sealed hollow fabrications to be treated without the danger of explosion; no size limit; carried out on site; when equipment’s not getting used it can be turned off – saving money.
10. Film Industry Sets And Artistic Coatings
Polystyrene props are popular on film industry stage sets, as they’re an easy task to manage. To make them more robust, the polystyrene is metal sprayed with zinc and steel. This makes the props stronger and less susceptible to dents when being moved round the set and reduces artwork time. Arc spraying is fantastic for using on polystyrene, as the molten particles created during the process only hold a tiny amount of heat energy. This heat dissipates rapidly when it comes into experience of the large surface of the polystyrene.