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An Improved Thermal Spray Process Which Incorporates an IntelligentShroud System

Objective



Protective coatings produced by thermal spraying processes comprise an area of great economic importance which cuts across most sectors of the European industry. The components protected include those suffering from corrosion and erosion in the power, petrochemical, gas, aerospace and construction industries.

At present the Arc Wire Spraying process which insure the highest deposition rate (up to 40 kg per hour) has poor oxide and porosity levels (cumulatively greater than 25%); besides the Vacuum Plasma Spray process which guarantees coatings with low oxide levels (less than 5%) is very expensive both in terms of the capital (of order 1 MECU) and operating costs (very low production rates). There is a need, therefore, of cost effective spraying processes which can insure a very high deposition rate along with a good coating quality.
The objective of this proposal is to develop wire and air plasma spraying processes with much higher quality (porosity less than 10% and oxides less than 5% for the air plasma spray and porosity and oxides less than 10% for arc wire) than present processes, with a potential of replacing vacuum plasma spraying in more demanding applications.

In order to reach this objective both an innovative shroud design and an "intelligent" control system will be developed. The shroud covering the outside of the spraying torch will provide shielding gases and avoid air entrainment to protect the spray stream from oxygen. The feed back control system will provide a self controlling or "intelligent" system, allowing to adjust the process parameters in order to maintain the torch and spray stream aligned on plasma and reduce stream divergence on wire systems.
The effectiveness of the processes will be demonstrated by coating real components such as valves, turbine blades and boiler tubes.
The Consortium brings together seven partners from five European countries, including five SME. The Consortium comprises an arc wire equipment manufacturer (Metallisation), a plasma process developer (Euromat), a company with considerable experience of plasma and arc wire systems (CA Technology), a developer of computer modeling software (VCIL), a coating producer and tribological expert (CISE), a power station arc wire spraying contractor as first end user (COMINT), a big power supplier as second end user (ENEL).

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

CESI CENTRO ELETTROTECNICO SPERIMENTALE ITALIANO GIACINTO MOTTA SPA
Address
Via Rubattino 54
Milano
Italy

Participants (6)

CA Technology Ltd.
United Kingdom
Address
The Hundred 57
SO51 8BZ Romsey
Comint SA
Spain
Address
20/1,Serge 20/1
28002 Madrid
ENEL SpA
Italy
Address
Via Monfalcone 15
20132 Milano
ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS INTERNATIONAL LTD
Ireland
Address
Howth Junktion Business Park
1 Dublin
EUROMAT GMBH
Germany
Address
7,Gladbacher Strasse 21
52525 Heinsberg
METALLISATION LTD
United Kingdom
Address
Pear Tree Lane, West Midlands
Dudley