The Application Of Thermal Spray Coatings On Vintage Cars
Thermal spraying is a technology that offers iron and steel protection against corrosion by applying different coating materials. Thermal spray coatings have long been used to improve the material used in engine parts to help them resist wear and friction effectively. These coatings will enhance the endurance and performance of engine parts and the automobile.
These spray coatings are used extensively in the automobile industry to protect different components used in new cars. However, their use also extends to vintage cars and mass-produced vehicles. Thermal sprays restore vintage cars by repairing and protecting body panels. Here are some applications of thermal spray coatings on vintage cars:
Arc Wire Spraying
This type of thermal spraying involves creating an arc by electrically charging two metallic wires. It is done using a spray gun system and can withstand temperatures up to 4000 degrees. This type of coating is highly durable as it forms a strong bond between the coating and the surface. In addition, it is denser than the flame-spraying type. Arc wire spraying protects and extends the life of vintage cars by providing them with a high level of resistance to external interaction.
Plasma spraying is commonly used for applying materials that require a high temperature before melting. It forms an arc between an electrode and the spray nozzle, as a second electrode. An inert gas is introduced between the two electrodes to heat the gas and eventually form plasma. Next, a powdered feedstock material melts and is accelerated to the substrate by passing it through the plasma gas.
A plasma spray system has a different power supply: gas and a gun with a powder feeding mechanism. This type of thermal spraying is done in fabrication shops. In addition, this spraying process can be applied to other thermal barriers like alumina, zirconia, and chromium oxide. It is commonly used on vintage cars to prevent corrosion, oxidation, and wear and tear.
Generally, combustion spraying is used on vintage cars for repairs, improving their efficiency, and restoring the surface’s shape. Unlike plasma spraying, combustion spray works on low-velocity oxygen. The process involves projecting a molten material onto the surface to generate a coating.
Benefits of Thermal Spray
- Lower Cost: The cost of applying these coatings on vintage cars is low compared to the cost of buying a new component for the car.
- Good wear resistance: Thermal spray coatings offer a durable surface that will make components in these cars highly resistant to wear and tear. This is mostly applicable to components experiencing friction, such as bearings and gears.
- Thickness Range: The thickness range is a range that can extend from 0.001 to over 1 inch. However, it depends on the type of thermal spray system and the material used.
- Corrosion resistance: Thermal spray coatings are suitable for use in harsh environments as they offer protection against corrosion, chemicals and other external interaction.
- Thermal barrier: These coatings can also function as a thermal barrier to ensure heat does not enter or leave, although it depends on the application.