3 Benefits of Thermal Spray Coating New Production Parts
We talk a lot about the benefits of thermal spray to companies hoping to remanufacture their damaged parts but one of the best applications of thermal spray coating is to apply it to new parts before they experience harsh operating environments. Some parts can even be made complete, meaning machined from stock material and coated, in one facility. This eliminates the increasing logistics and lead time issues that are running rampant in today’s COVID-19 climate. The biggest differences between thermal spray for remanufacture and thermal spray for new production parts are initial service life, engineered wear and performance characteristics, and process efficiency.
While thermal spray coating a part before operation increases the up-front cost, it will also cause the part to last longer before needing repair. If you’re replacing a roll every two weeks because it’s wearing out so much, coating it from the very get go will space out your maintenance cycles and make unexpected downtimes less frequent.
When you add thermal spray coatings up-front you can also tailor the characteristics of the coating, not just in respect to wear. Ceramic coatings can be used to insulate and mitigate heating. Dielectric coatings can help mitigate electrical conductivity issues. Parts in harsh chemical environments can benefit from chemically inert coatings. Sacrificial corrosion coatings can help protect the underlying material for parts in water and marine environments. So not only are there wear benefits to protective coatings but many other coating characteristics that can help make parts last longer.
Planning ahead to thermal spray your parts, means you choose how many and when. With higher part quantities, you can have highly developed coating processes which increase efficiencies, coating quality and cost effectiveness. Dividing set up and programming time between more parts means a lower cost per part. A good thermal spray company will have engineers on staff to help develop these processes and monitor the coating quality.
While thermal spray is a great fit to repair and overhaul a damaged part, there are significant benefits to protecting your parts before they experience the harsh environments of operation. While it may cost you more up front, it can lengthen your maintenance cycle interval and decrease down time for repairs. It can also aid in other areas of production such as temperature mitigation or electrical conductivity. Preventative coatings in high quantities can also lower the cost of coating. So instead of waiting for disaster to strike, evaluate what parts could benefit from preventative coatings before going into service to see if production thermal spray is the right fit for you.