What Is Plasma Spray?
Plasma spray is the most versatile of the thermal spray processes. Plasma is capable of spraying all materials that are considered sprayable.
In plasma spray devices, an arc is formed in between two electrodes in a plasma forming gas, which usually consists of either argon/hydrogen or argon/helium. As the plasma gas is heated by the arc, it expands and is accelerated through a shaped nozzle, creating velocities up to MACH 2. Temperatures in the arc zone approach 36,000°F (20,000°K). Temperatures in the plasma jet are still 18,000°F (10,000°K) several centimeters form the exit of the nozzle.
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Plasma Spray Coating Materials
Nozzle designs and flexibility of powder injection schemes, along with the ability to generate very high process temperatures, enables plasma spraying to utilize a wide range of coatings. The range goes from low melting point polymers such as nylon, to very high temperature melting materials such as refractory materials including tungsten, tantalum, ceramic oxides, and other refractory materials.
Because plasma-arc spraying is the most versatile of all the thermal spray processes it can be found in the widest range of industries. Plasma spray coatings are used commonly for applications in aerospace, automotive, medical devices, agriculture communication, etc.
Plasma Spray Coating Applications
Jet engines literally contain hundreds of components that are plasma spray coated. A commonly used coating in jet engines is produced with yttria partially stabilized zirconia (YSZ). This coating provides high temperature protection to components that are exposed to combustion gases. The thermal protection allows the component to last longer and run at higher temperatures, which improves the system's overall performance efficiency. More Applications >
Spray Coated Components