When it comes to extending the lifespan of machinery, structures or their composite parts many people’s minds will automatically point towards painting as a way of protecting these from corrosion or decay. However is this really the best answer? In many case applying a thermal spray coating can be a much more advantageous idea. The thermal spray coating process in its basic form is the process of heating one material until it is becomes a liquid and then spraying this onto the material to be coated (the substrate) where the molten material then solidifies to form a coating.
So what are some of the advantages of applying a thermal spray coating to a material instead of painting it?
In many cases thermal spray coatings have a significantly longer lifespan than you can expect from a painted coating. Because thermal spray coatings can be made up of a variety of different materials; everything from metals and alloys to plastics and ceramics, the coating can be chosen to have the greatest corrosion resistance for the specific condition in which the coating material will be operating, whether that be outdoors or within a corrosive indoor environment.
Compared to paint where up to 70% of the constituents of the paint itself are lost to evaporation, thermal spray coatings are much more efficient as they can be applied directly to the substrate with little or no wastage. Also in some forms of thermal spraying any over-spray can in fact be collected and reused, whereas this would be impossible with paint.
Paint is made up of the pigment itself mixed with numerous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), which as mentioned above can constitute up to 70% of the paint itself. Upon drying these VOC’s evaporate out of the paint and are released into the atmosphere where they can be extremely harmful to the environment.
Although some thermal spray coatings may cost more to apply initially, they last much longer and so removal and reapplication is much more infrequent than with many painted surfaces. In some instances a pained surface could need to be sandblasted and stripped before being repainted within 5 years, whereas a thermally sprayed surface could last in excess of 30 years. The cost savings in both the repainting process itself and any associated downtime can be significant.
For more information about utilising the advantages of thermal spray coatings contact the experts at IRS Ltd today.