In the Arc Spraying Process a pair of electrically conductive wires are melted by means of an electric arc. The molten material is atomised by compressed air and propelled towards the substrate surface. The impacting molten particles on the substrate rapidly solidify to form a coating. This arc spraying process carried out correctly is called a "cold process" (relative to the substrate material being coated) as the substrate temperature can be kept low during processing avoiding damage, metallurgical changes and distortion to the substrate material.
Arc spray coatings are normally denser and stronger than their equivalent combustion spray coatings. Low running costs, high spray rates and efficiency make it a good tool for spraying large areas and high production rates.
Disadvantages of the arc spraying process are that only electrically conductive wires can be sprayed and if substrate preheating is required, a separate heating source is needed.
The main applications of arc spraying are anti-corrosion coatings of zinc and aluminium and machine element work on large components.
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