Corrosion is a major problem throughout European industries, but particularly the petrochemical, offshore, pulp & paper and power generation sectors, where it costs 270 billion Ecu per annum, the equivalent to 3% of the GDP of the European Union, in terms of repair, maintenance and loss of production capacity. Corrosion resistant coatings for engineering components have been deposited traditionally by welding or electroplating, but applications have been restricted by metallurgical incompatibility and concerns over the environmental impact of toxic solvents and reactants. The porous nature of sprayed coatings has led to much scepticism amongst end-users regarding their suitability in corrosive environments, but the recent development of the HVOF process has produced much denser coatings, which offer much improved corrosion resistance. In Europe, HVOF technology resides primarily amongst SMEs, who provide wear resistant coatings to the aerospace and petrochemical industries. This project offers SMEs an opportunity to exploit a new market for HVOF technology in corrosion resistant coatings, and will be directed by SMEs experienced in HVOF spraying, component manufacturing and spray powder production, supported by end-users in the petrochemical industry. RTDs with expertise in the fields of corrosion and thermal spraying will be used to undertake the research programme. The project will establish HVOF spraying as a new technology for corrosion resistant coatings, by meeting the following objectives:
Development of corrosion testing methods, appropriate to HVOF coatings.
Determination of the relationship between HVOF parameters, coating microstructure and corrosion behaviour (for three commercial systems).
Optimisation of HVOF system design, using gas or liquid fuel, and three alternative powder feed positions.
Analysis of the influence of alloy composition on corrosion resistance and development of an improved alloy for HVOF.
Demonstration that HVOF coatings are reproducible, and applicable on-site.
Demonstration of HVOF spraying onto components supplied by the consortium, and initiation of on-site testing. The project addresses exploitation of the project results by the core SME group, including implementation, training and qualifications; trans-sectorial dissemination of HVOF best practice at a pre-competitive level to European SME thermal sprayers, and provision of data to CEN 240 for a code of practice. A summary of the economic benefits to the core SMEs and the European Union will be provided, highlighting the industrial, safety, social and environmental impact of HVOF technology.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
SG1 4QX Stevenage
TS90 8JE Cleveland
TF7 4PP Telford
CB1 6AL Cambridge