Ten Diverse Applications for Thermal Spraying


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

1. Wind Turbines

Atmospheric corrosion causes damage to wind turbines. It’s for this reason many manufacturers specify thermal sprayed zinc or zinc/aluminium alloys as a technique of corrosion protection. Thermal sprayed coatings – utilizing the arc spray process – give a resilient finish, that is less vunerable to damage than many paint coatings.

2. Oil Industry – Pipes, Risers and Structures

Oil industry pipes, risers and structures tend to be subjected to harsh elements and oil and gas platform structures benefit from the application of thermal sprayed aluminium (TSA). This is performed utilizing the arc or flame spray process, secondary containment where in fact 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 outer lining to form a thick 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 only does it protects from corrosion – in addition it helps extend a bridge’s life. The flame spray process, where in fact the wire is fed by way of a driven roller system through the centre of an oxygen-fuel gas flame and is melted, is ideal for protecting bridges. This is proven to be the best protection from corrosion and provides protection for approximately 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 be 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. As a whole, 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 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. Throughout the welding process, the warmth generated destroys the external coating across the weld area. Unless the ERW seam is protected, this area will corrode. The best way to protect it’s to spray the seam with a material that has 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 protect LPG, propane gas or butane gas bottles against corrosion. Gas cylinders tend to be refurbished and, within that process, the outer lining of the bottles is grit blasted to get ready it ahead of spraying with zinc. LPG cylinders are often sprayed utilizing the arc spray process.

8. Architectural Coatings

There are numerous creative architectural coating solutions for such things as 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 put through the corrosive effects of the current weather so have to be protected. Metal spraying is ideal for this, like a cold process there is no risk of distortion or fettling, unlike with hot dip galvanising. There’s also the ability to make use of different coatings, such as for example bronze or copper, to suit with the overall design scheme.

9. Metal Spraying Versus Galvanising

Metal Spraying has many advantages for plenty of industries, along with being 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 benefits of metal spraying include: no distortion as a result of heat, allowing sealed hollow fabrications to be treated without the risk of explosion; no size limit; carried on site; when equipment’s not getting used it may be switched off – 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 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 across the set and reduces artwork time. Arc spraying is ideal for using on polystyrene, whilst the molten particles created during the process only hold a small amount of heat energy. This heat dissipates rapidly as it pertains into contact with the large surface of the polystyrene.

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