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Low Vacuum (LVPS™)/ Low Pressure (LPPS™) Plasma Spray System

Based on our long-proven and highly reliable ChamPro™ coating process, the systems are designed for mass production coatings (e.g. blades and vanes) with unique features, such as:

  • Typical chamber pressure from 20 mbar – 300 mbar during spray process
  • Reverse transfer arc for work piece cleaning (removal of oxide layer)
  • High enthalpy plasma stream with high plasma torch output up to 120 kW
  • Maximum spray part weight (incl. fixture) of 60 kg
  • Spray part motion control by advanced CNC system, using 4 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 => control of residual stresses
  • High deposition efficiency due to the concentrated shape of the plasma jet

The basic concept and workflow of the coating process is described as follows.

  1. Loading the part into the sting gripper
  2. Close transfer chamber, evacuate to initial vacuum
  3. Backfill transfer chamber with argon to operating pressure
  4. Open gate valve to main chamber
  5. Transfer part in main chamber preheating, T/A cleaning and coating of parts
  6. Return part in transfer chamber
  7. Closing of gate valve
  8. Cooling cycle and backfill transfer chamber to atmospheric pressure
  9. Unload part manually or with loader

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.  After closing the chamber door the transfer chamber is evacuated and the system is activated. Upon completion of the evacuation procedure the part is carried on the sting to 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 LVPS 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.

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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