Thermal spray useful for mining equipment? You bet! But before you decide on a thermal spray coating (also known as’hardfacing’), you need to first understand the kind of wear. The answers may surprise you.
Abrasive wear can include lower impact, lower stressed conditions. Here, you will have no fracture, no sudden loss of parent material. Rather, material removal is the result of scratching, filing, a consistent loss in metal at some micro-level. Needless to say, wear rates may well be more dramatic when the mined abrasives are sharp, angular in nature. Proper material hardness, such as abrasion-resistant steel or ceramic, is key.
Adhesive wear is more of a tearing or material separation between interacting surfaces. It begins with rubbing, and ends with phenomena known as scoring, galling, or seizure. Their occurrence is usually associated with like materials and structure, under an applied load, without lubrication polyurethane. Here, material choices must look into attributes like ductility, for impact strength. These “softer” alloys available can work harden with impact or deformation. The effect is increased strength and resistance to abrasion.
Have you already identified the wear mechanism? Made the proper material selection? Well, now it’s time to consider thermal spraying. Hardness is the normal measurement for material choice. Again, bear in mind that, under abrasive conditions, harder material choices, like tungsten carbide or ceramic coatings are ideal. But also for adhesive wear, where impact strength could be imperative to success, softer, more ductile choices are the answer.
Did you realize that how (or where) the thermal spray coatings are applied also can decrease rates of wear? Depending on mined material type and shape, the success of a hardface deposit will undoubtedly be in how it’s aligned on the surface. Parallel, perpendicular, even coating spacing and overlap could mean the difference between success and failure. Dissimilarity in thermal expansion characteristics involving the coating and parent metal can be something to consider.
Any experienced coating provider for mining equipment can tell you: to decrease wear rates, choose thermal spray.
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William Gunnar, a degreed scientist, researcher, engineer, and friend, has helped tens and thousands of’best of class’product designers and equipment manufacturers — for pretty much 20 years now — surface engineer with coatings for success.Read More