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Online monitoring of thermal spray processes for the shop floor

Long pulsed laser-ultrasonic detection laser
Tecnar develops, manufactures and markets advanced sensors to optimize industrial processes.
© Courtesy of Oerlikon Mecto (US) Inc
© Courtesy of NRC Canada
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Innovative Accuraspray technology

In thermal spray, a material initially in the form of solid powder or wire is fed into the high-temperature spray torch to be melted and accelerated toward the parts to be coated. Before impinging on the substrate, the material is in the form of liquid droplet/particles with diameter ranging from 1 to 150 microns in size, depending on the application. The particles typically travel at velocities from 50 to 1,200 m/s, depending on the type of process/spray conditions used, and their surface temperature can vary from 1000 to 3500 Celsius. The Accuraspray measures the infrared radiation emitted by the liquid droplets and uses that data to calculate the bulk average temperature and velocity of the sprayed material.

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Thanks to the Accuraspray, we have been able to achieve process Ppks over 1.5— even for very challenging coatings, such as thick, porous TBCs sprayed using new advanced gun concepts. The Accuraspray has also proven invaluable for process parameter development, for establishing tolerance windows, for troubleshooting and, finally, as a go/no go instrument.

The Thermal Spray Team at GKN Aerospace Sweden

General Electric
GKN Aerospace
Mitsubishi Heavy
Oerlikon Metco
Pratt & Whitney
Progressive Surface