Cold Spray Applications

Recent advancements in cold spray technology are dramatically expanding what you can do with thermal spray processes.  Cold spray can be used to deposit metals on sensitive or difficult-to-weld surfaces for never before possible combinations of unique materials.  Cold spray can also be used to repair damaged areas of a finished part, without causing additional problems such as warping, cracking, or softening of the part.  Furthermore, properties approaching, or in some cases even exceeding, the base material properties can now be achieved.  This opens the door for cold spray to be used on more than just cosmetic surface restoration, but loaded areas can be repaired, including rebuilding entire features on a part.

Cold spray has been applied to numerous high strength aluminum parts, but it has also been used to deposit stainless steel and other high strength steels, bronze alloys, nickel alloys, titanium, and even exotic elements like tantalum and niobium. Cold spray doesn’t fix everything, but it has the ability to solve challenges that other technologies simply can’t touch. And just as importantly, once a cold spray process has been developed, it can be applied reliably and repeatedly for a given application.

Industrial Applications

  • Mining
  • Oil & Gas
  • Transportation
  • Heavy Industry
  • Automotive
  • Metal Art & Statuary
  • Shipping
  • Rail
  • Power Plants
  • Structural Corrosion Repair
  • Corrosion Resistant Coatings
  • Electronics
  • Heat Exchangers

And many more…

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to show most of the industrial applications that have been developed in order to protect the often-proprietary nature of the work. There are however, some examples that can be shown of repair applications that are included in Figure 1.

Department of Defense Components

The technology has also been under development for the military as a method to dramatically reduce maintenance costs across the Department of Defense by repairing previously un-repairable assets, such as the KC-135 Ruddervator part, shown in Figure 3. 

Figure 1: Cast aluminum engine transmission case with two (2) large holes (0.5-in diameter [1.27 cm]) in the top side of the case. The repaired holes are shown in the bottom right, and the inside of the case showing the repair zones (bottom left).

Figure 2.  KC-135 Ruddervator Aluminum 7075-T6 Fitting Repair with Al 7075 sprayed on to rebuild a damaged bearing mating surface, with 50% of the re-machining complete.

Another example is a very large aluminum 6061 Navy valve actuator with corrosion damage and internal bore sealing surface wear, which was cold sprayed, re-machined, and returned to service with a savings of over $40,000 per part compared to a new replacement.  A collage of the part and the repair process are shown in Figure 4.  The as-sprayed 6061 coating had a tensile strength of 38 ksi [262 MPa], 3% ductility, with adhesion strengths well in excess of 10 ksi [68 MPa].

Figure 3.  Cold spray repair of the 3.5 inch [8.9 cm] internal bore portion and external corroded surfaces of a large Al 6061 valve actuator for an application in the Navy.1
1 C. A. Widener, M. J. Carter, O. C. Ozdemir, R. H. Hrabe, B. Hoiland, T. E. Stamey, V. K. Champagne & T. J. Eden (2016). Application of High-Pressure Cold Spray for an Internal Bore Repair of a Navy Valve Actuator, International Journal of Thermal Spray, 25(1-2), 193-201.

Figure 4.  Ti-3Al-2.5V alloy tube cold sprayed with commercially pure titanium for wear protection to prevent chaffing at contact points with the tube.

Cold Spray Process Development

VRC Metal Systems is proud to be at the forefront in cold spray technology, and we’re always ready to help develop the next ground-breaking cold spray application. Click here to learn more about how we can help you make your cold spray application a success.

VRC Metal Systems’ Services

Learn more about VRC Metal Systems’ comprehensive cold spray services, which include equipment leasing, system calibration and cold spray process development. Our knowledgeable team is also available to provide dependable off- and on-site support to ensure you receive the products and services you need every step of the way.

Contact VRC Metal Systems

Call, email, snail mail or visit the VRC Metal Systems offices today to talk to a representative about how your business can benefit from our cold spray systems and service.

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VRC Metal Systems
600 N Ellsworth Rd
Box Elder, SD 57719

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