If you’ve heard about plasma spray coating but don’t know a lot about it, you’re not alone. After all, to generate a plasma spray coating jet, you have to create a safe and highly regulated working environment. This environment is difficult to obtain because its where a working gas mixture is put through an electrical arc.

The process discharge from the electrical arc takes a lot of specialized effort for its industrial application purpose. What’s more, the discharge is formed in the gap between a cathode and anode. The result is a rapid energy release that heats the gas mixture to a scorching 14,000 K high-temperature plasma.

That’s a summary of the plasma spray coating process used for industrial materials, so you can see why you may not be familiar with all its moving parts. You understand the benefits of plasma spray coating every time you use a pan with a Teflon® coating. But there are various thermal coatings used for other industrial applications.

Flame spray coating and plasma spray coating are in the same family and sometimes called by each other’s name. The information below provides details about the process and uses of plasma spray coating for Teflon® and other industries.

Definition of Plasma Spray Coating

The definition of plasma spray coating is part of a thermal process. The thermal process creates the coating by spraying material in the form of powder into a 14,000 K plasma flame. The material accelerates due to the intense heat and impacts on a substrate material. 

When the plasma spray process cools, it’s called the ‘cold process.’ Once the coating cools, you have an industrial-strength protective coating. It’s called the cool process because any substrate temperature is kept low during the process, so you don’t have any substrate material damage or distortions.

There are documented procedures which must be kept anytime you are implementing the plasma spray coating process. There are also inspections performed at every stage of the coating process. The control panels and powder feeders are closed loops and calibrated according to ISO standards.

The ISO standards are precisely calibrated because it optimizes the injection of powder into a plasma jet. There’s even testing done on sample pieces being processed. The samples and processes and recorded by lot numbers.

The plasma spray coating process is complex, detailed, and heavily regulated.

Uses for Plasma Spray Coatings

Plasma coating is used in many types of industrial applications. It’s a very good option to help protect equipment and any refinishing material. Major industries use it often. The versatile process is used by:

  • Automotive
  • Culinary and cooking
  • Medical
  • Marine and Boating
  • Aerospace
  • Petrochemical
  • Engineering, and more

In each of these industries, there are targeted and specific applications. In fact, for the Teflon® industry, a special plasma coating process was created to be a non-stick feature for materials. The plasma coating for Teflon® was perfected by creating a unique combination of air pressure, spray time, nozzle size and spray distance. 

Applications for Plasma Spray Coatings

Some of the applications of plasma spray coatings outside of the Teflon® used in pots and pans include, but are not limited to:

  1. Beauty supplies and personal care products like curling irons and blow dryers.
  2. Many pet toys use a coating of Teflon®. 
  3. Aero-engine turbine seal ring grooves in the compressor area. This is down with the tungsten carbide/cobalt components to resist wear and tear.
  4. The car industry uses Teflon® for diesel engine piston rings, carburetor parts, bypass shafts, and more.
  5. Medical and dental implants use the biocompatible coatings of hydroxyapatite.
  6. Solar panels and the energy industries use Teflon®. Turbine combustion chambers use zirconia-based thermal barrier coatings.

All the above industries use the application of plasma coatings because it is extremely adaptive. The plasma coating can be micrometers or millimeters thick. The powder is the most widely used material, but ceramics and metals can be used too.

Five Types of Thermal Spray Coatings

Plasma spray coating is only one of the five types of thermal coatings. Above, you’ve read about the industries using thermal spray coatings. The reason they’re used so prevalently is that they protect materials exposed to extreme temperatures, chemicals or environmental conditions. 

Combustion Flame Spraying

Combustion flame spraying is great for materials that can’t handle extreme stress but is going to be exposed to them anyway. The kind of spray coating doesn’t use a very high flame velocity. Therefore the coating less solidly adheres to the material.

Combustion flame spraying is also one of the least expensive processes.

Plasma Spraying

You’ve already read about plasma spraying uses of the plasma torch for heating and spraying. Because of plasma coat spraying adaptability, it’s very popular in a cross-section of industries. The coating produced is a reliable thin coating used on a variety of substances.

High-Velocity Oxy-Fuel Spraying (HVOF)

HVOF is the type of thermal spray coating process used today most of the time. Plasma spraying is in the same family. HVOF also makes use of the torch. When the process uses the application of the torch, the flame can spread whenever the nozzle is pressed.

HVOF is a strong adhesive coating. It has a high resistance to corrosion. Every time you see helicopter rotor joints, there was a coating process used.

Two-Wire Electric Arc Spraying

The coating process uses the arc point that’s created between two wires conducting an electric charge. The melting happens when the wires connect. Compressed air is what’s used for the coatings spray process. 

This method of spray coating is popular due to its effectiveness. The base materials used in this process are aluminum and zinc most of the time.

Vacuum Plasma Spraying

This particular coating process has to be done in a controlled environment, even though it uses a low temperature. A controlled environment is needed due to the gas combinations used to get the exact pressure needed for spraying.

Every time you look at a car bumper or accessories in cars like door mirrors, vacuum plasma spraying has been used. 

Product Coatings Provide Excellent Value

The next time you want material coating or thermal spray technology, we are the protective coating application company you need. It is your material’s surface that determines the coating method that can accomplish the task you designate. Think of a car’s bumper or helicopter rotor blades to envision the amazing practical applications of material performance due to thermal spray coatings.

When plasma spray coating is needed, check us out. Our company, engineers, and technicians maintain close working relationships with Dupont and Whitford. These companies are industry giants who produce the Teflon® range of products and work with only the best.

Reach out to us when your ready for the best in the industry who can help solve your material’s durability and capability needs.

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