TWI's Surface Engineering Section hosted a free one-day thermal and cold spraying workshop for Industrial Member companies to gain an insight into the latest spraying technologies and see first-hand TWI's upgraded spraying facilities. The event took place on 17 March 2016 at TWI’s facilities near Cambridge.
The event proved successful with delegates from some of the largest engineering companies in the world representing sectors such as aerospace, automotive, construction and fabrication, and medical in attendance.
Highlights of the day included presentations from TWI’s team of experts on Characterisation and Performance Evaluation, Surface Preparation and Mechanised Blasting, Coating Composites, Corrosion Mitigation and Environmental Protection, and Development and Up-scaling of Technologies.
An introduction to the current focus areas of the group's work, which include developing cold spray coatings capable of performing as load-bearing repairs, coatings on composites and the development of more advanced coating characterisation techniques, gave delegates the opportunity to learn more about TWI’s upgraded facilities and how they can benefit Member companies.
Delegates were shown demonstrations on cold spraying, thermal spraying, and performance and evaluation at TWI’s state-of-the-art spraying facility.
Enhanced surfacing capabilities
The new high-tech spraying facility, manufactured by Climavent Ltd, features a walk-in, soundproof spraying enclosure 7.5m wide, 6m deep and 4m high. It also features the latest extraction technology to ensure safe operation of our thermal spraying equipment, which includes high-velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF), cold spray, plasma, arc and flame spraying processes.
The bespoke setup features a partition so that it can be split into two conventionally sized spraying cells, or opened up to form one large spraying facility. It represents a permanent research and development facility for the benefit of TWI Members, and will enable activities including upscaling for pre-production procedure development, demonstration and validation at technology readiness levels three to seven.
An OTC FD-V50 robot has been installed inside the facility, which will shortly be augmented with a second identical robot and 5m track system, and offline programming capabilities to manipulate specialist spraying equipment and allow the coating of components several metres in size.
The newly installed state-of-the-art Impact Innovations 5/11 Cold Spray System offers significant increases in operating temperature and pressure (N2 gas at up to 1100°C and 60 bar) over previous systems, delivering improved coating quality.
The new facility brings all of TWI’s thermal and cold spraying equipment under one roof and enables TWI to offer a seamless service to its Members.
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