Portable Booth Equivalency Technology for Thermal Sprayed Coatings

NCMS Project #: 140311

Problem:

  • Thermal spraying is used widely in the DoD for parts repair and for combating corrosion. However, thermal spray booths differ greatly in air flow, balance, temperature profile, humidity, and other items that directly impact the resultant quality of sprayed-on coatings. Moreover, there is a poor correlation between booth control set points, the booth operating conditions and the ultimate objective, obtaining good (acceptable) thermally sprayed coatings.
  • This project developed a portable unit that tracks and replicates booth operating conditions for a known good booth and can transfer these parameters to a different booth source if production conditions should require changes.

Benefit:

  • Availability: Availability is greatly enhanced through the avoidance of work stoppages due to unacceptable coatings.
  • Cost Savings: The project team helped Oklahoma City ALC recover from work stoppages avoiding projected losses of $150,000.
  • Reliability: It has been estimated that up to 30% of the cost of coatings applications is due to tuning requirements. The portability of this unit would allow for a single system to service multiple facilities.
  • Cycle Time: The equivalency unit can reduce booth downtime and improve first pass quality.

Solution/Approach: The project optimized the performance of thermal spray booths that sprayed a wide variety of parts and components.

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Air Force (Ogden and Oklahoma City Air Logistics Centers)
  • U.S. Navy (Fleet Readiness Center East and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard)

Industry Participation:

  • TubalCain Company, Inc.
  • Impact Engineering
  • Alicat Scientific
  • Chromalloy Turbine Components
  • Howmet Turbine Components
  • NCMS