Metal Spraying is a process that has been used for over 100 years around the world, where molten metal or softened particles are applied to a prepared surface (substrate) to enhance its properties (hardness, anti-corrosion, wear, dielectric, restoring dimensions etc.). No solvents or chemicals are used, just pure metal. Substrate materials include Metals, Glass, Carbon Fibre, Plastics, Plaster, Polystyrene, Ceramics and Wood. Often used as an alternative to the galvanising process, Arc Metal Spraying has low heat input during spraying which eliminates the risk of component distortion. There is no limit to the size of component to be coated with the Metal Spray process and these components can be treated on site, meaning there are no transport or waiting issues. Particular jobs require extra protection in critical areas, the Metal Spray process enables the operator to vary the coating thickness to fulfil that need.
Our Metal Spray equipment consists of Arc Spray, Flame Spray, Plasma Spray, High Velocity Air-Fuel (HVAF), High Velocity Oxygen-Fuel (HVOF), Laser Cladding, Spray Weld Equipment and also Ancillary Equipment. More information on each process is available by clicking on the relevant tabs.
The process is predominantly used for anti-corrosion, surface modification/enhancement and rebuilding engineering dimensions and has been used in every conceivable industry including Aerospace, Automotive, Marine, Biomedical, Agriculture, Space Travel, Power Generation, Infrastructure, Mining and many more applications. Surface Enhancement applications include, but are not limited to: hard chrome replacement, hard-facing, anti-spark, non-stick, and non-slip coatings.
How Does Metal Spray Compare with Galvanising?
- A common misconception regarding anti-corrosive coatings is that they can only be completed with Zinc, when in fact Metal Spray can offer 4 variations of anti-corrosion coatings, all of which have their own identities: Zinc 99.99%, Zinc Aluminium 85/15 alloy, Aluminium 99.5%, and Aluminium Magnesium 5%.
- No cure time meaning components and structures are ready for use immediately after application.
- Low heat input during spraying eliminates the risk of component distortion.
- Low heat input eliminates the risk of thermal metallurgical degradation.
The above video will help to emphasise this low heat input by showing examples
that would lose definition, distort, warp or even melt when subjected to a high temperature.
- Sealed hollow fabrications may be treated without risk of explosion.
- There is no limit to the size of component to be treated.
- Components can be treated on site, meaning there are no transport or waiting issues.
- There is no effluent disposal problem.
- Reduced stocks of zinc are required. Working capital is not tied up in a molten zinc bath.
- Fuel is not needed to keep zinc molten when the process is not working.
- Metal spraying restores corrosion protection on damaged areas of welded galvanised steel (International Standards exist covering this).
- Coating thickness can be varied to provide extra protection in critical areas.
- The Metal Spray process is not limited to Zinc.
- Aluminium, Steels, Bronzes etc. can also be applied for a variety of applications.
- No re-work required from galvanising dross.
- The Metal Spray coating is porous and therefore the perfect surface to accept paint or powdercoat (that’s if required as it is not necessary).
- No need to pre–etch etc.
How Does Metal Spray Compare with Painting?
- Materials are of consistent quality and purity, no mixing required before application.
- Materials have an infinite shelf life if stored correctly.
- Fewer process steps required.
- This allows simpler quality control and fewer opportunities for error.
- Sprayed components require no protracted curing or drying times giving superior utilisation to floor space.
- Sprayed Zinc, Aluminium and their Alloys give effective corrosion resistance and protection immediately.
- Sprayed metals are more robust than paints and can withstand rougher usage.
- Even if the sprayed layer is damaged, the sacrificial action prevents corrosion.
- Metals can be sprayed in a wider range of climatic conditions (temperature and humidity) than paints.
- The materials used since the early 1900’s have not changed and are still being used today, whereas numerous paint systems have been superseded many times over.
Did you know? Dr Max Ulrich Schoop (pictured above) pioneered metal spraying in the early 1900’s when he, whilst firing pellets out of a toy cannon he had bought for his young son, discovered that molten lead and zinc would stick to almost any surface.