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Low Pressure Plasma Spray-Hybrid (LPPS-Hybrid) System

Based on our long-proven and highly reliable ChamPro™ coating process, the LPPS-Hybrid system is designed for production coatings with unique features, such as:

  • Typical chamber pressure from 0.5 mbar to 300 mbar during spray process
  • Thermally grown oxide layer (TGO)
  • High enthalpy plasma stream with high plasma torch output up to 150 kW
  • Maximum spray part weight (incl. fixture) of 60 kg
  • Spray part motion control by advanced CNC system, using 3 axes gun manipulator

These system features give rise to the advanced process characteristics of the vacuum plasma coating process:

  • Very flexible operating conditions
  • Application of thin or thick coatings
  • Slow coating solidification controls residual stresses
  • High deposition efficiency
  • Special vacuum pumping system for high gas flows at low pressures

After the proper plasma conditions (chamber pressure, plasma power, gas flows, etc.) and part program are selected, the operator loads the workpiece directly onto the workpiece manipulator (the "sting") end. The loader is then retracted and the door closed.  The transfer chamber is then evacuated and the system is activated. Upon completion of the evacuation procedure the part is carried on the sting into the spray chamber where it is pre-heated, transfer arc cleaned and plasma sprayed. After completion of spray process the part and sting return to the transfer chamber where the part is cooled and unloaded.

The LPPS-Hybrid system process produces a very high jet stream velocity and subsequent high particle velocity, giving the particles a high kinetic energy which results in a very dense coating structure. This can be compared to a forging process where the energy from impact produces fine-grain, dense material.

LPPS-Hybrid systems can produce coatings within three distinct regimes:

PS-PVD (Plasma Spray-PVD) can produce thick, columnar-structured YSZ coatings (100 to 300 µm) using high gun enthalpy to vaporize specific types of feedstock materials.

PS-CVD (Plasma Spray-CVD) uses modified conventional thermal spray components operated below 0.5 mbar to produce CVD-like coatings (<1 to 10 µm) at higher deposition rates by using liquid for gaseous precursors as feedstock materials.

PS-TF (Plasma Spray-Thin Film) can produce thin, dense layers from liquid splats using a classical thermal spray approach but at high velocity and enthalpy.

The coatings applied by LPPS-Hybrid systems close the gap between conventional thermal spray processes and thin film (PVD, CVD) processes and have been used for decades to apply high quality, functional coatings on critical components for industrial and flight gas turbine components, medical components, and for other specialized applications where coating quality and characteristics are critical.

LPPS-Hybrid coatings can provide the low levels of impurities, high densities and structures that approach cast conditions that are valued by coatings applied using LPPS technology; however, coating thicknesses can be much thinner than those attainable by LPPS. At the same time, coatings are somewhat thicker than those attained by thin-film processes such as PVD and CVD. Therefore, LPPS-Hybrid meets thickness requirements that industry has long sought for some applications.

In addition, unlike other thermal spray processes, LPPS-Hybrid can provide full-coverage thin coatings and the ability to coat blind surfaces. Even combinations of different coating processes are possible without stopping the process.

Different system configurations available, meeting your requirements:

  • One or two part manipulators (sting)
  • Short or long part manipulators (sting)
  • Small or large main chamber
  • Small or large gate valves
  • Manual, semi- or full-automatic part loading
  • Pre-heating of parts in transfer chamber
  • Process diagnostic equipment

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