Wednesday, December 6, 2023
HomeTechnologyHow Does Metal Spray Work?

How Does Metal Spray Work?

Metal spray is an effective technique to repair and protect components, from guarding against corrosion and hardening surfaces to restoring soft parts to their original dimensions. Receive the Best information about alloy 46.

Named variously as metalizing and flame spraying, electric arcing utilizes two consumable wires connected by an electrical arc to heat and melt coating material into place.


Metal spraying can coat structures to protect them against extremes of temperature, corrosion, and erosion, alter electrical or biological properties of surfaces, or improve the outward appearance of structures. Furthermore, its primary use lies in restoring components damaged by corrosion or wear by coating them with hard metals that allow them to function as intended within their operating environments again.

Thermal spray processes come in various varieties, each offering its own set of advantages and disadvantages. A general comparison can be seen in Table 6. However, please remember that these values are generalized; experienced technicians must conduct extensive tests on specific materials, applications, and equipment to obtain more particular matters.

Step one of applying a metal spray coating involves prepping the supporting surface that requires a layer, such as freeing it of grease, oil, and other contaminants. Furthermore, roughening it to provide some grip for the material being sprayed will increase adhesion; various means are available to achieve this aim, including abrasive blasting, grinding, and machining.

Spray guns are used to apply coatings. The type of gun depends on the application and desired result; options include flame spray guns, arc spray guns, and plasma spray guns – each employing heat to melt particles quickly before depositing them on substrates.

Plasma spray guns use an electrical current to generate plasma from an electrode and substrate material, then apply this plasma to it for coating applications. This then initiates the chemical reaction that forms a hard metal coating.

Cold spraying (sometimes known as supersonic particle deposition) uses micronized solid powder particles accelerated at high velocity towards a surface to be coated, creating significant plastic deformation and mechanical interlock between particles and substrate/deposited layers for strong bonding results.

Compressed Air

Compressed air is an indispensable component of metal fabrication. It powers machines that cut, bend, and shape metal into different products while also powering spray guns for applying paint, powder coating, or other protective finishes to metal surfaces. Furthermore, compressed air helps ensure product integrity during this process.

Metal spraying is an efficient process for depositing various metal and non-metal elements onto surfaces in both industrial and consumer settings. Sometimes referred to as thermal spraying, but more appropriately known as metallurgical deposition technology – using both thermal energy and kinetic energy, molten or semi-molten particles are deposited onto components through this method.

This process, known initially as metalizing, has been utilized successfully for decades. A flame generated from combustible gas heat melts wire or powder propelled onto components using compressed air and rapidly cools upon contact with the substrate to form an adhesive coating.

Flame spraying is one of the more widely utilized techniques for applying metal spray, though many others are available. Plasma spraying was first developed in the 1970s using an arc jet that generated temperatures greater than 1500K using various raw materials like oxides and ceramics. High-velocity air fuel spraying (HVAF) sprays powdered materials at speeds up to 1200 meters per second, creating fragile yet corrosion-resistant coatings that last.

Some coatings can be self-lubricating, which removes the need to regularly monitor and maintain wet lubricants – a beneficial feature on equipment that needs to be moved often or is in difficult-to-reach places. Apticote 800/125, a molybdenum-based self-lubricating metal spray, is frequently used on engine components like impellors and shafts in gas turbine engines to increase efficiency.

Metal spray coatings offer more than protection; they also add decorative finishes or structural support – making them the ideal solution for applications where aesthetics and functionality matter equally.

Wire or Powder

Wire or powder coating applications may occur no matter which metal spray process is selected. Major thermal spray processes include arc, flame, plasma, and detonation (Degradation Group 2020). Each method melts surface material before projecting it onto base metal surfaces to form hard-wearing, adherent, dense coatings.

Arc spray uses an electric arc to melt coating material. Two wires (hence its common name, Twin Wire Arc Spray) are fed through two guns at opposite ends of an electrical arc, which melts the tips of each wire when struck. Compressed air passes through a nozzle directly behind the arc zone to atomize and atomize the liquid metal into tiny droplets that are then accelerated against surfaces to be coated.

Plasma transfer wire arc spray technology involves striking an arc between an inert anode and a tungsten cathode in a gun, creating a plasma jet. Powder particles suspended in carrier gas are then introduced into this hot plasma jet, which atomizes them into tiny droplets that strike against substrate surfaces at high velocity to form robust adhering coatings that adhere tightly.

Sprayed materials range from soft metals such as aluminum and zinc to hard metals like stainless steel; using this technique to spread a range of materials can protect components against corrosion, erosion, and wear and tear while altering physical properties like improving electrical conductivity or biological integrity. The coatings created through this method serve as corrosion barriers.

Metal spray can also be used to repair worn components, such as marine turbochargers and aerospace rotor hubs that need refurbishing. Coating them with Apticote 800/61 will extend their lifespan until they can be machined back to their original engineering dimensions – providing significant cost savings over the cost of replacement parts altogether. If you want more information about how metal spray could help your project, do not hesitate to contact our expert team.


Surface preparation for spray coating applications is critical to the successful performance of this process. It must be free from dirt, oil, and other contaminants so that sprayed metal adheres tightly. Roughening may also help provide mechanical bonds needed to retain material such as machining, bond coating, or abrasive blasting; areas not intended to be coated may be protected using tape or stop-off chemicals.

Different spraying techniques are utilized to achieve the desired coating thickness and characteristics. Flame spraying uses oxygen and fuel (usually propane or acetylene) to ignite feedstock wire or powder melt it down before compressed air blasts it onto substrates for use as a coating. This technique can often be used when coating hard-to-machine materials like ceramics and certain metals.

Arc wire spraying is another popular form of spraying that uses an electric arc to heat feedstock wire or powder into a liquid state before compressed gas blasts it onto the substrate. This technique can be used on smooth and textured surfaces and is often employed when coating internal parts like shafts in gas turbine engines, where creating an exact seal between components is critical.

HVOF, or High-Velocity Oxygen Fuel spraying, is similar to flame spraying but uses a particular type of nozzle gun, which enables higher temperatures and speeds, making the HVOF process ideal for working with more complex materials such as stainless steel. Furthermore, its coatings offer much stronger corrosion protection than combustion flame spray coatings.

Plasma spraying utilizes the combination of fuel gases (usually hydrogen or acetylene) and oxygen to accelerate particles to supersonic speeds before impacting with a substrate, where they quickly cool and solidify into an ultra-dense and hard coating. This technique can be used on smooth or curved surfaces and produces dense layers with precise dimensions – ideal for coating complex materials like ceramics that require exact CNC machined dimensions or ultra-precise measurements such as automotive applications.

Read also: Shaping the Future of Conferences: Unleashing Your Potential as a Conference Speaker

Previous article
Next article

Most Popular

Recent Comments