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Development of engineering surface coatings obtained by advanced, cost effective and environmentally friendly technologies

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Opportunities for novel SHS based thermal spray powders

Among coating technologies, thermal spray has become a rapidly evolving field that services a wide industrial community. Challenged by the recent developments in powder production, this project introduced the novel Self-propagating High-temperature Synthesis (SHS) in thermal spray processes. This innovative combination of techniques could lead to great advancements in the field of thermal sprays.

Industrial Technologies

Thermal spray is a coating or forming process that usually deposits powdered materials. It employs heat to melt or soften the materials and gas jets to accelerate the particles towards surfaces where they impact to produce coatings. Sprayed materials could be ceramics, cermets, plastics, metals or any combination of these. This technology offers unique advantages to industrial processes. Such advantages include increased flexibility in use and versatile applicability for creating high performance components in the most cost-efficient way. Therefore, not only has it gained the wide industrial acceptance, but it has also become the mainstay of most established coating practices. This project brought a new breakthrough development in the field of thermal spray industries. It exploited a new technique, namely the SHS process for sintering materials at low temperature and demonstrated its applicability for thermally sprayed powders. The SHS process constitutes a set of simple, multipurpose and inexpensive techniques for consolidating powders. Until now, this unequalled attempt has been considered risky. Nevertheless, the project's research carefully examined and evidenced the SHS suitability for thermal sprayed powders. Moreover, this innovation was also proven as the possibly most cost-effective combination of technologies for thermal sprayed coatings. This significant advancement is expected to boost the coating production and optimise the European competitiveness in the worldwide industries.

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