What is spray metallization? Why is it used?
Definition of spray metallization
How does the spray metallization process work?
What is spray metallization? What are its types?
We know perfectly well that metal elements are durable, however, due to moisture, they are subject to gradual corrosion. The corrosion process, commonly referred to as rusting, is a real challenge for engineers of various steel structures. In order to prevent rusting, specialists have developed an effective method that is a rescue for metal surfaces. This method is called spray metallization, which is dealt with by qualified employees in companies of this profession. What is spray metallization?
The process of spray metallization is the application of a protective anti-corrosion coating to a metal material affected by corrosion. A good coating allows you to forget about rust on metals for a long time. An interesting fact is that the very idea of the discussed process appeared in Poland around 1920, in Europe – of course – much earlier. The spray method has undergone considerable evolution since its first mention and has been significantly improved as a result of breakneck laboratory experiments. Today, the spray metallization process is so modern and efficient that we can successfully use it to protect steel elements from rusting.
If we want to understand the spray metallization process, let’s go back to history. Around 1910, the Swiss Max Ulrich Schoop patented the method of applying layers on steel thanks to the already known welding method. Today we used to call this process flame spraying. How did Max Ulrich Schoop come up with the idea that steel could be preserved? To settle this, let’s recall the moment when our researcher observed a sports shooting range, when bullets made of lead were fired. He noticed that these bullets, if they penetrated the wall at very close range, merged into a uniform mass. Similarly, Schoop developed a process of applying molten metal (e.g. zinc, lead) as a result of high temperature to a metal surface. In this way we will obtain a uniform structure. Thus, we can successfully preserve metal surfaces thanks to the brilliant Schoop spray method discovered.
We can classify the spray metallization process based on differences in the type of heat source used. Because of these sources, spray metallization has gained the following nomenclature:
flame (gas), in the process of which we use the mechanism of spraying the wire or powder coating;
arched – here we use the so-called the electric arc, which has a much higher temperature than in the case of gas;
plasma – here the heat is generated by plasma-forming gas, which will melt literally any metal.
We also distinguish supersonic spraying. This is currently the most modern method of spray metallization. Here, solid knowledge in the field of physics is at stake, i.e., for example, the construction of a metallization booth, which specialists have equipped with artificial intelligence. It is precisely a robotic manipulator that contains a supersonic torch. It allows the application of a protective coating of high-hardness materials, due to the generation of kinetic energy. We obtain heat here in the process of burning kerosene and oxygen mixtures. Cool the burner with water. The chamber in which the discussed process takes place is also specially ventilated and has a modern mechanism, thanks to which we apply subsequent anti-corrosion layers.