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Monthly Archives: December 2017



Advantages and Disadvantages of Thermal Spray Coatings


Thermal spraying is the process by which a coating is applied to a material via the coating material being heated until it becomes molten and then being sprayed onto the substrate where it solidifies and bonds upon contact forming a stable and hard wearing coating. There are a number of advantages (along with some disadvantages) to thermal spray coatings which are detailed below. 

Advantages of Thermal Spray Coatings

  • Wide range of coating materials – there is a vast array of different materials which can be turned into high quality coatings via the thermal spray process. These can include; metal, alloy, ceramic, plastic and polymer and can be in the form of powder, rod or wire. The coating material can be specifically selected for each individual substrate and the job that it has to do and so a near perfect match can often be made between the two.
  • Wise variety of substrate materials – as long as the material to be coated can withstand the heat of the thermal spray process then almost any material can be coated using this method. However there are also a number of specific spray coating methods which in fact use much lower temperatures and so the range of substrate materials is even further increased.
  • Extends the lifespan of the substrate – a strong and efficient thermal spray coating will extend the lifespan of that substrate by providing an effective barrier against erosion, decomposition and other forms of surface damage. Thermal spraying allows much thicker coatings to be applied (often up to 10mm) in higher deposition rates than other coating methods, which provide a much more effective barrier against wear and tear.
  • Reduced cost – in many cases repairing an object by applying a thermal spray coating to it is much cheaper than completely replacing it. Also thermal spray coatings tend to be much more efficient and waste less of the coating material than with other methods so are a much more viable option when more expensive coating materials are involved.

Disadvantages of Thermal Spray Coatings

  • Disguises the substrate – as thermal spray coatings are so efficient in many cases it is impossible to tell what material the substrate was made of after the coating process, unless stringent records are kept.
  • Cannot precisely evaluate effectiveness – once the thermal spray coating has been applied it is often difficult to tell exactly how well the coating has gone on, other than by a visual assessment.
  • Costly set up – some of the methods of thermal spray coatings require very expensive apparatus, which can result in a high initial set up cost.

To find out more about the thermal spray coating process and how it could be applied to your business or field contact the experts at IRS Ltd today.


Published Date: 10th December 2017
Category: Thermal Spray Systems



Assessment Bureau ISO9001

Well done to all the team on achieving our re-certification and upgrade to ISO 9001 : 2015.




Published Date: 5th December 2017
Category: News



What Is Spiral Welding?

In a nutshell spiral welding is the process by which a cylindrical object has a new surface welded onto it whilst the object is being turned on a rotary turn table.

However to understand this fully we first need to look at what exactly welding is, what are some of the uses of this specific process of spiral welding and what are the advantages of spiral welding?

What Is Welding?

Welding is the process by which two materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, are permanently bonded with each other. This result is created by heat being applied to both materials so that the areas of them which are to be joined melts, mixes and then solidifies to form a permanent bond. In many cases of welding a filler material is also introduced to the join which then also melts and mixes with those of the materials being welded together. In these cases this mixture of materials when solidified forms a joint that is often stronger than the original base material.

However the process of spiral welding introduces another material to the original (the substrate) in order to form a strong tough and durable overlay, rather than attempting to join it to a third material. The Spiral Welding process is applied in an inert argon gas atmosphere to prevent oxidation during the welding.

Uses of Spiral Welding

As mentioned above, spiral welding is the process of coating a cylindrical object with another material to renovate or recondition it. It can be used to rebuild damage from wear, erosion, corrosion or cracking, or to increase the dimension of the object to match it up to another part or matching component. It can be used on a wide variety of objects but is most commonly used on pipework and manufacturing shafts.

Advantages of Spiral Welding

There are many advantages to using spiral welding rather than other welding techniques. These can include:

  • Repairing a component via the spiral welding process is often cheaper than buying a new component and results in less possible downtime.
  • Faster turnaround time than manufacturing an entirely new component.
  • Can result in a higher strength component that the original, depending on the choice of coating material.
  • Spiral welding eliminates possible distortion of the substrate due to unbalanced stresses from normal welding processes.

To find out more about the spiral welding process and how it could benefit your business, contact the experts at IRS Ltd today.

If you’re interested in learning more about welding please read our article Different Types of Welding Explained.


Published Date: 5th December 2017
Category: Welding