This project has a relevant Consortium which covers the whole product production chain, allowing a position of strength and collaboration within the proposed markets. There is a producer/seller of thermal spray hardware (GTV), there are the hardware users as job coaters (TMCOMAS and OBZ) and there are end-users for the coating solutions (Stern Hidraulica, TMCOMAS and OBZ). Additionally there is a strong knowledge of the suspension spray technique supplied by Fraunhofer.
For off-shore machinery piston rods, hydraulic cylinders rods or pumps, hard-chromium coatings are typically used. The ease and low cost of application combined with the quality of chrome coatings has led to chrome dominance in wear resistant surfaces. The main problem with chrome plating is the risk of Cr(VI) release during processing, which is a known health hazard.
The ceramic coatings obtained using Suspension Thermal Spray (STS) technique offer interesting advantages in comparison with traditional thermal sprayed coatings: highly refined structure, smoother surface, lower thickness, improved wear resistance and insulating properties. Therefore, STS can offer industry-suitable coatings with superior wear performance, which have the potential to replace coatings produced by chromium plating techniques.
The coating producers (TMCOMAS and OBZ) will introduce the innovative STS process by integrating in their spray booths the guns developed by GTV. The new coatings will be implemented in different products: cylinders for hydroelectric applications (SHI), pumps and electrically insulated bearings (OBZ) off-shore pistons and industrial valves (TMCOMAS). The new smoother, thinner, denser, high electrical resistive STS coatings will offer high performance (wear-corrosion resistance) competitive solutions.