You might not realise this, but metal spraying or thermal spraying is a process that affects our everyday living beyond all recognition.
The process is used to change the surface properties of a part by adding a layer or layers of material to increase factors such as durability, hardness, wear resistance. In addition, the process can work to change electrical properties, increase corrosion protection, replace worn or damaged material, and increase or decrease friction.
Metal spraying has undoubtedly changed the way in which we live, yet many people still don't know this form of technology exists. Since the inauguration of the motor vehicle in the late 1800s, considerable change has been undertaken in design and development to produce the motor vehicles we have today.
Requirements for greater efficiency, speed and comfort, whilst still being environmentally friendly is a key part of travel, and requires materials which are lighter and more performance related. This is where metal spraying comes in; it's used to solve a lot of issues in automotive manufacturing.
So here we present a selection of the many automotive components and parts that commonly undergo the metal spraying process.
Exhaust system components
Exhaust system components in high performance vehicles have their surfaces coated with ceramics and anti–corrosive material to provide improved heat flow and increased power. Heat retention in turbos and exhausts protects against local damage and eliminates the need for secondary heat shields.
Gear selector forks, clutch disks and synchroniser rings
Gear selector forks, clutch disks and synchronizer rings suffer from wear, so the application of a molybdenum coating delivers high resistance to scuffing, as well as constant friction coefficient for more precise gear selection.
Aluminium multi-void fin tubes
Coating aluminium multi-void fin tubes for the cooling system with zinc allows the tube to be soldered.
Brake shoes suffer rapid wear but this is controlled when a plasma sprayed coating is applied, giving the shoes a longer lifespan.
Metal spraying gives Improved brake performance, weight reduction and longer life to brake disc-rotors that suffer from an inconsistent friction coefficient.
Cylinder bores use plasma sprayed molybdenum and ferritic materials to eliminate the requirement of heavy cast iron linings.
Piston rings and piston crowns
Piston rings have high wear resistance and less friction when coated with molybdenum, and when thermal barrier coating is applied to piston crown, they gain improved efficiency and extended life.
Cam and crank shafts
Cam and crank shafts are coated to give improved performance
Car panel repair
Car panel repair uses actual metal not bog to repair rusted/damaged body panels
Other sprayed components include turbocharger housings, valve guides and stems, exhaust sensors, alternator covers, exhaust pipes, shock absorbers.