Some applications using thermal spray coatings on heat sensitive substrates like plastics, wood, paper and other non metal parts
are used today. Most of these coatings are based on zinc and aluminium,
which are mainly used for R.F.I. shielding and electrical conductivity
where mechanical properties of the coating are not of prime importance.
The use of reinforced plastics is an attractive option over metals
in some components because of the good strength to weight ratio. The
disadvantage is the poor surface properties.
Applications that need thermal spray coatings with good mechanical
properties for resistance to wear for example are few, because of the
difficulty in getting adequate bond strength between plastic substrate
Recent development work has indicated promise for engineering type
thermal spray coatings on fibre reinforced polymers. Careful selection
of material combinations and the use of special process parameters has
produced relatively thick coatings in metals, ceramics and carbides
which can be machined or ground.
If you are considering the use of reinforced polymers, but are put
off because of problems with surface properties or the apparent lack of
surface engineering solutions, please get in contact for advice.