Metallization has long been an irreplaceable process in efforts to protect structures from external factors. What is metallization? How does it benefit the project? How many metallizing methods are there? We will learn more in the following article.
Metallization process: Definition, key advantages and classification
This article will in through 4 main sections including:
- Definition and application of this process
- Benefits of metallizing process
- 5 types of metallizing
- Introduce the metallization service at Vivablast with Thermal Spray Technology
Metallization is a thermal spray coating process in which metals such as zinc, aluminum, silver, etc. are deposited as a thin metal film on top of a base material such as plastic, glass, or metal to prevent corrosion of the base material.The metallizing process consists of three main steps:
- The base material is prepared by abrasive or metal spraying to provide high adhesion to the metal being sprayed.
- Heat is used to generate molten particles from the coating material, which is then sprayed onto the surface.
- Once contacting, the particles spread evenly on the surface, freeze and create a mechanical bond, first with the roughened surface, and then with each other as the coating thickness increases.
The metal used to make the coating can be in the form of wire or powder. Coating thicknesses can vary from .004″ to thicker layers between .012″ – .014″.This technology is widely used to enhance the corrosion resistance of materials. The metallization process is applied in many industries, such as:
- Oil and Gas
- Solar energy products
1. Strengthen the corrosion resistance:
Rust is not new but still quite a serious problem of metal structures, especially steel. The metallization process can create a coating that protects the metal surface from the development of red or white rust, increasing the product’s longevity to 20 years or more.
2. Enhance the durability of the material
Most metal coatings are appreciated for their good adhesion. They are less prone to peeling, blistering, and cracking than uncoated surfaces. Since then, the durability of the surface of the material has also significantly improved.
3. Provide electrical conductivity
One limitation when using ductile materials is that they are not conductive. When a plastic surface is metalized, it can conduct electric current. This is a remarkable step forward in the electronics industry.
4. Provide weather resistance
Steel structures located outdoors are susceptible to the effects of snow, rain, wind and sun, leading to deterioration over time. Creating a metallized coating creates a protective shield for the underlying structure, which prolongs the life of the structure and maintains its appearance.
5. Save maintenance costs
With common paints, after a while, they are forced to be replaced by a new layer. Meanwhile, the metallized layer does not need repainting or maintenance, thereby reducing operating costs. Metallization coatings also have a diverse and beautiful color palette that is not inferior to conventional paints.
In general, the general principle of the metallization process consists of preparing the surface, then using high temperature to create molten particles and then spraying them onto the surface. But when it comes to details, we can divide the metallizing process into 5 different types:
1. Vacuum metallization
This is the process of boiling the coated metal in a special vacuum chamber, then letting it condense to form a residue on the surface of the substrate. Coated metal can be vaporized through plasma or resistance heating.
2. Hot-dip galvanizing
This process involves dipping the steel into a vat of molten zinc. Zinc reacts with iron in steel to form an alloy coating that helps resist corrosion. After the substrate is removed from the zinc bath, it undergoes a draining or vibration step to remove excess zinc. The galvanizing process will continue after the substrate is removed until it cools.
3. Zinc spraying
Zinc is a material that is both versatile and cost-effective, helping to prevent corrosion on metal surfaces. Zinc metallization is the process of creating a slightly porous, lower density coating than hot-dip galvanizing. Zinc spraying can be applied to all steels but is not recommended for uneven surfaces.
4. Thermal spray
Thermal spray is the process of spraying heated or molten metal onto the surface of the material. The metal is introduced in powder or wire form, then heated to a molten or semi-molten state and sprayed as microscopic particles. Thermal spray can produce thick coatings at high speed.
5. Cold spray
In the cold spray technique, a mixture of metal powder, water-based binder and hardener is sprayed onto the surface at room temperature to form a workpiece. The embryos are left for about an hour and then dried at temperatures between about 70°F and 150°F for 6-12 hours. This metallization technique provides durable and long-lasting corrosion resistance.
At VIVABLAST, we provide top-notch metal coating/plating services such as Heat Spray Aluminum (TSA) / Zinc (TSZ) / other metal alloys according to NORSOK M-501. Our anti-corrosion metal coating solution is highly innovative and far superior to conventional coating systems. We are among the leading experts in providing anti-corrosion solutions to a wide range of industries, notably the marine industry, which is heavily affected by the corrosion of seawater.VIVABLAST primarily recommends and offers thermal spray as it is a fast and cost-effective solution that has the ability to add properties and enhance performance to coated surfaces.
We classify the thermal spray coatings into categories as follows:1. By temperature:
- Warm Spraying (the temperature of the engineered surface during spraying >250oC)
- Cold Spraying (the temperature of the engineered surface during spraying <250oC)
2. By spray material:
- Powder Spraying
- Wire Spraying
3. By spraying method:
- Flame Spraying
- Arc Spraying
- Plasma spraying
- High-velocity oxy-fuel coating spraying (HVOF)
Each metalization method will be advisable for different requirements, based on the characteristics of the project and the wishes of the customer. To identify which one is the optimal choice for your project, please contact VIVABLAST for direct consultant, via:
- Phone: (+ 84-28) 38 965 006/7/8
- Fax: (+ 84-28) 38 965 004
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org