What is Thermal Spray Coating?: Everything You Need to Know About the Thermal Spraying Process

June 5, 2019

A popular practice among the best custom pipe fabricators, the practice of thermal spraying can improve, reinforce, or even restore the surface of various solid materials. While there are many different types of thermal spraying used across various industries, almost all of them have one of the following goals:

When done correctly, thermal spraying provides durable, long-lasting protection against corrosion. We do this by adding an additional metallic layer over our pipes, pressure vessels, and other products. It’s a cost-effective way to provide even more quality assurance to our customers, and that’s why we apply it regularly on so many of our products.

Within the custom piping industry, however, there is one issue that thermal spray coating helps to prevent, and that’s known as “corrosion under insulation.”

Corrosion Under Insulation: A Common, Yet Very Preventable, Problem

Corrosion under insulation is a common problem for almost all pipe fabricators who don’t spray coat their products, and it usually stems from water.

That’s because industrial warehouses and other facilities will almost always have a certain level of water and humidity accumulating with them. The sources of this water could be leakage, wash water, rainwater, or any number of other culprits.

It’s when this water gets trapped inside a product’s insulation alongside metal that corrosion under insulation becomes a serious threat to that product’s life cycle and durability, with the water eventually leading to the deterioration of the metal and, subsequently, the product as a whole.

The World Corrosion Organization estimates the global cost of corrosion at $2.5 trillion annually, which means CUI is an expensive threat to manufacturers and customers alike.

However, the WCO also estimates that this massive cost could be reduced by as much as 25% if more organizations took proactive measures to prevent corrosion under insulation before it occurs. Thermal spray coating just so happens to be one of the most popular and effective ways to prevent CUI in the long-term.

Now that we’ve emphasized the dangers of corrosion under insulation, as well as how to avoid them entirely with the thermal spraying process, the next thing to understand is how thermal spray coating is actually applied.

The Thermal Spray Application Process: How Does it Work?

Although there are methods and materials associated with thermal coating, the majority of thermal spray application processes begin the same way: by heating a feedstock (that is, the unprocessed or raw material used to supply a manufacturing process).

Once the feedstock has been heated to a high enough velocity, the particles will begin to deform and freeze onto the substrate, which is any solid substance to which another substance has been applied (and to which that second substance adheres).

In time, the deformation and freezing of these particles will result in a resilient metallic coating with millions of particles deposited on top of one another. At Globe LLC, our team members are trained to take one more essential step, and that is to manually inspect the coating.

We meticulously assess the quality and durability of the coatings after the thermal spraying process, adding yet another level of quality assurance to ensure our customers receive the highest-performing, longest-lasting pipe fabrication products possible.

Want to Learn More About Our Thermal Spray Coating Services?

With over three decades in the pipe fabrication industry, our team has amassed more than enough experience to provide top-of-the-line thermal spray coating services.

Regardless of your exact coating or integration requirements, we’re sure to have the thermal spray technologies and expertise necessary to build a high-performance solution to suit your organization.

Contact us today to see what thermal spray coating services we can provide for you!