Say Hi To HVOF Coatings and Bye To Hard Chrome Plating!
To provide a hard and long wearing surface, chrome plating was the acceptable coating system used in the industry for many years. But when laws protecting the environment were enacted in the United States, many plating contractors were forced to close their doors. In order to stay in business, remaining contractors invested in expensive new equipment and created chemical handling plants.
To recoup their investments, contractors drastically increased their prices for chrome plating. Fewer total contractors meant reduced plating capacity, which also brought more price increases. But now, a commercially and technically viable alternative is the HVOF coatings – aka the Metallisation High-Velocity Oxygen Fuel system. Read on to learn more.
The Benefits of HVOF Coatings
Fortunately, there are a number of advantages of HVOF coating over chrome plating. Contractors can keep their prices competitive due to low initial capital investments and low installation costs. This mean they don’t need a water treatment plant, there are no toxic solutions to dispose of, and no plating tanks to maintain.
With improved process controls and fewer process steps, there are no limitations on component size, no heat treatment required, and improved stock control from in-line processing. Because no acid solutions are involved, and therefore no hydrogen embrittlement, there is an improved component toughness. Coatings are denser with no crack crazing and can impart compressive stresses on the substrate, improving fatigue behavior. And finally, microporosity helps to retain lubricating films.
Fewer Process Steps and Higher Coating Rates
High-Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF) uses fewer steps during the coating process, making the process much faster and simpler than hard chrome plating. The HVOF four coating steps are: degrease, grit blast, spray, and finish grind. In comparison, hard chrome plating uses a total of nine steps: degrease, alkaline wash, rinse, etch, rinse, plate, rinse, dry, finish grind.
Also, tests have shown that HVOF coatings produces a denser, harder coating, give better abrasive wear properties, and have higher durability ratings versus chrome plating.
Environmental Benefits of HVOF Coatings
Of course, keeping our environment safe and pollution-free is the most important benefit of all. But how does this help the contractor’s – and their customer’s – bottom line as well? First of all, there is no water treatment plant to build, no chemical solutions to control, no hexavalent chrome, and no toxic solutions to dispose of. This saves the contractor time and money. Additionally, the overspray from the HVOF can be recovered and sold as metal scrap, helping to compensate for the initial outlay of expenses. All of these savings can then be passed on to their customers.
Although the process of making the change from hard chrome plating to HVOF coating can be challenging and expensive at first, overall the final product is as good if not better. Coatings can be used for a number of products; if you would like to learn more about HVOF coatings and how it might solve some of your business problems, please contact A&A Coatings today.