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Victrex has announced the development of the PG550 Universal Flame Spray System, 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.

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

Easy to use and set up, 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 high wear, abrasion, erosion, scratch and corrosion resistance, especially at high temperatures.’ One of the 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 said: ‘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 help to 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 in reducing overall systems costs for OEMs.

Flame spraying with Vicote coatings can also be used for the repair and upgrading of in-service equipment.

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