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Victrex has developed a cost-effective flame spray process for applying its Vicote Coatings to various metal and ceramic substrates.

Historically, thermal (flame) spray technology has been limited to the application of metal alloys, cermets and some low performance polymers to form a protective coating on the substrate, but all of these coatings have performance limitations.

This new technique can successfully flame spray a VICTREX PEEK polymer-based coating onto a metal substrate.

The result is a tough, durable, high temperature and chemically resistant coating.

Victrex worked closely with Alamo Supply, of Houston, Texas, which designed the PG550 Universal Flame Spray System, providing cost effective entry into thermal spraying.

The equipment features a gun nozzle that allows the sprayed polymer to form a continuous coating.

John Robinson, coatings technology leader at Victrex, said: ‘A stream of Vicote powder coating passes through the gun and is heated to a temperature where the powder melts and is deposited at high velocity as splats on the surface of the substrate.

‘These splats overlap as the gun is traversed across the substrate to form a tough durable high-performance coating.

‘The crystalline structure of the Vicote Coating is what gives it its exceptional high wear, abrasion, erosion, scratch and corrosion resistance, especially at high temperatures.’ One of the major advantages of flame spraying with Vicote Coatings is that it creates a high performance coating on parts that would be difficult or costly to coat by other means.

Robinson added: ‘The process itself is very energy efficient.

‘For example, no oven is required to cure the coatings, although for thick coatings on solid shafts, a stress relieving cycle may be needed.

‘No electricity is used to power the equipment – just compressed gas.’ Flame spraying, which can also be applied to thermally sensitive substrates, is ideal for coating pump impellers and pump housings.

Robinson added: ‘Most geometries can be flame sprayed.

‘These include fairly complex parts due to the absence of the Faraday Cage effect found when coating using the traditional electrostatic powder coating process.’ Flame spraying with Vicote Coatings can provide enhanced wear, heat, erosion, abrasion and corrosion resistance on metal substrates for OEMs, designers, fabricators and coaters, resulting in longer life, improved performance and functionality of the coated parts and reduced overall systems costs for OEMs.

Flame spraying with Vicote Coatings can also be used to repair and upgrade in-service equipment.

Robinson added: ‘Refurbishing a worn surface by flame spraying with Vicote Coatings can be more financially attractive than a complete replacement part and offers an alternative high performance coating to traditional flame sprayed powdered metals.’

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