The metallising process was invented in 1910 when
Dr Schoop from Switzerland experimented with spraying heated
metal powder. Since that time, a very sophisticated world
market has emerged where over 400,000kg of metal powders are
consumed every year.
spray applications have now penetrated all types of industries.
World-wide, the aerospace industry is probably the largest
user of thermal sprayed coatings accounting for approx
65% of all powder.
The Rolls Royce engines which power the Boeing 747 have over
2,000 parts. Of these, approximately one third are
thermal spray coated. Common uses are thermal barrier coatings
such as yttria-stabilised zirconia on combustion chambers,
exhaust ducts and nozzle guide vanes and abradable materials
such as aluminium polyester, aluminium graphite and nickel
graphite on clearance control coatings to increase engine
there's no room for experimentation in the aerospace industry,
thermal spray coatings are only utilised after intensive trials
to optimise parameters for each specific material and function.
While this cautious approach is essential in aviation, other
industry sectors have been more innovative and open to using
newer processes such as HVOF,
HVAF and PURECOAT
at their development.
Today, thermal spray is used in many engineering applications
ranging from salvage or reclamation through to the provision
of wear and corrosion resistant coatings. Further applications
are found in the electrical, electronic, marine and transport