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What is Metallizing?

flame spray metallizing

Metallizing is a term that has been used throughout the years to encompass many forms of metal coating. It is defined as any process that applies a metal coating to another metallic or non-metallic surface. Someone, depending on the industry and who you’re talking to, could be referring to many different industrial processes, including thermal spray. They could also be referring to hot-dip galvanizing, cold spray technology, and many more.

In our experience, when people ask us about metallizing, they are usually looking for twin wire arc spray or flame spray. Processes that lay down economical layers of basic metals and alloys. Some common metallizing materials with these processes are stainless steel, aluminum bronze, zinc aluminum, brass, and many more. You will even see some metallizing for proprietary alloys such as Hastelloy© or Wallex©. Let’s look at our three most common metallizing materials.

Stainless Steel Metallizing

Stainless steel metallizing is our most popular form of metallizing, most commonly 300 series and 400 series. 400 series stainless steel can be used for dimensional restoration up to about 0.20 inches thick. It lays down fast and with minimal raw materials needed making it a very economical way of remanufacturing surfaces. 300 series stainless steel coatings can only go to about 0.020” thick reliably but are also considered food grade which makes them a great solution for the food and beverage industry. Stainless steel metallizing also offers mild corrosion resistance over tool steels and other more common base materials.

Aluminum Bronze Metallizing

aluminum bronze metallizing

Metallized aluminum bronze is typically used for bearing sections, sliding wear scenarios, and to help reduce friction. It has roughly twice the strength and hardness of other bronzes making it a great wear resistant coating that can be easily machined. In addition to wear, due to the porous nature of the thermal spray used for this metallizing, it also readily accepts and stores lubricants in the coating helping to reduce friction. This is great for bearing sections since it is hard enough to increase service life but soft enough to conform to bearing sections as they deform. It can also offer mild corrosion resistance, especially compared to other arc sprayed bronzes, but if corrosion is the culprit, you may want to explore metallized zinc aluminum.

Zinc Aluminum Metallizing

Zinc Aluminum metallizing is used as a sacrificial corrosion coating. It is applied over the base material to “take” the corrosion and protect the underlying surface. Another popular sacrificial corrosion coating is TSA coating or thermal spray aluminum metallizing. The addition of zinc to the aluminum aids in preventing under rusting and increases the time it takes the corrosion to eat through the coating. Zinc aluminum coatings have performed very well in salt fog tests, sometimes lasting up to 20 plus years.

Metallized Surface Solutions


There are many different types of coatings that could be considered metallizing, and each form is a valuable tool for heavy industrial companies. Whether that is one of these thermal spray options or another type of metallizing. It is good to be specific on what problems you are hoping to solve so you can ensure that you have the right type of metallizing for the job.