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Thermal Spray Coating for Steel Processing

Thermal Spray Coating for Steel Processing

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Published by: Ramkiyengar on Jul 17, 2009
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07/13/2013

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Technovations International Inc
1
Thermal Spray Coating for Steel Processing
Ram K. Iyengar, Technovations International Inc, Littleton, MA USA978-952-2955, technovationsintl@gmail.com
Thermal spray coatingThermal spray coatings on the rolls in annealing, galvanizing, and othersteelmaking and processing sections can ensure an economically viable life at aSteel Plant.
Thermal spray coating provides an additional tool to materials engineer to overcome the problems of wear, oxidation and corrosion. There are several operations in steel processing that can benefit from the surface engineering solutions because of the followingcharacteristics of thermal pray coating:
 
Thermal spray coatings of a wide range of materials from pure metals to cermetshave satisfactory adherence between the substrate and the coating.
 
High erosion resistance against molten metal is the most important property for the use of thermal spray coating in galvanizing and aluminizing lines.
 
Thermal spray coating with hard cermets such as tungsten carbide has shown anexcellent load bearing capacity with an absence of wear under high load.
 
Thermal spray coatings have strong adhesion to the substrate and do not requiregrinding to finish.
 
The hardness of thermal sprayed tungsten carbide-cobalt chromium coating issimilar to hard chrome plating. The coatings are 100 times more abrasive wear resistant than hard chrome. In comparison with 316 stainless steel, thermal spraycoating offer relatively good corrosion protection.
 
Thermal spray coating can be functionally graded to provide thermal shock resistance when there is a large difference in the coefficient of thermal expansion between the topcoat and the substrate.
 
Powder particles are heated to targeted temperature and accelerated to velocityapproaching that of the gaseous jet. The powder particles are plastically flattened on thesurface and form a coating. This process provides coating with low porosity and highadhesion. Additionally, when the particles are not melted the process practically does notoxidize spray powders. This creates perfect conditions for coating sintering during serviceunder elevated temperature in zinc bath.
 
Thermal spray coating processes are based on heating powdered materials to appropriatetemperature and propelling them at supersonic velocity against the roll surfaces to produce coatings with desired properties. These processes include: high velocity oxygenfuel, activated combustion high velocity air, plasma, arc etc. These processes operate atdifferent temperatures with particle velocities reaching up to Mach 3. The particle
 
Technovations International Inc
2velocity-temperature regimes of these processes are shown in the chart below.
 Figure 1. Temperature-velocity characteristics of thermal spray processes
Where Thermal Spray Coating can be used in a steel plant
Bridle and accumulator rolls in entrance and exit ends of a steel processing line whencoated with tungsten carbide coating eliminate surface damage on the roll and provide proper grip and prevent slippage. The surface coating is properly textured to provide therequired characteristics or profile on the strip surface.Surface coatings of furnace and hot tension bridle rolls prevent pickup due iron fines or from oxidation of the rolls due to an accidental change in the furnace atmosphere. Thecoating provides high friction to eliminate hydroplaning.Deflector or tower rolls when coated with carbide coating minimize zinc pickup. Theserolls experiences zinc pickup particularly when the tower is not sufficiently high or running galvaneal products. The coatings on rolls allow smooth operation of the line and produce an improved strip surface. Coatings also extend the in service life of rolls. Thisreduces the frequency of maintenance shutdown.A wide variety of components associated with Electric arc furnace (EAF) and BasicOxygen Furnace (BOF) are under severe attack from heat, particulate and acidic gases.Water-cooled components as found in the off-gas duct systems such as pans, roofs, boxesand panels, are subjected to high velocity combustion gases that contain a number of corrosives chemicals that condense and attack the heat transfer surfaces. This area is alsothe most difficult to access when conducting maintenance and inspection.Surface engineering solutions including thermal spray coating and weld overlay have
 
Technovations International Inc
3dramatically improved the operation of BOF Hoods by eliminating repetitive maintenanceand ongoing tube failures. EAF operators are relying on thermal spray technology to solvereliability problems for water-cooled components in off gas systems to reducemaintenance costs, increase the number of heats per furnace-day and increase the time between shutdowns.In continuous casting the cast shell in the lower half of the mold abrades and wears the bottom of the mold. Diffusion of the copper substrate from the mold into the surface of the cast product leads to a quality defect called "star cracking." The wear on the copper substrate and the pick-up of copper by the cast product can be eliminated by the use of amold coating on the bottom portion of the copper mold.Chrome and nickel based coatings protect copper molds from wear, and also enhancescaster product quality by greatly reducing cast product contamination and star cracking problems. Therefore, coating of the mold require minimal operational changes at thecaster, making it an excellent investment for extending mold life and improving productquality.Galvanized and aluminized steel sheets require very high surface quality, particularly inexposed panels. In continuous galvanizing and aluminizing, the steel strip is dipped in themolten bath through a series of rolls, which control the speed and tension of the strip andguide the steel strip through the molten metal bath. The rolls operating in the molten Zn-Al alloy are subjected to severe corrosive environment and require frequent change andrepair. A typical galvanizing shop experiences downtimes on the order of every twoweeks to change the rolls. It takes upwards of 3 days for a complete turn around toresume normal operation.The molten zinc aluminum alloy baths are aggressive and react with most pot hardwarematerials. Sink and stabilizer rolls experience pick up of dross, which is an intermetalliccompound of Al, Fe, and Zn. The hard dross particles could mark the galvanized sheet.Poor quality of sink and stabilizer rolls can lead to defects in the strip due to:• Roll not turning,• Sink roll groove marks appearing on the galvanized strip.• Dross build up on rolls.By coating the sink and stabilizer rolls with molybdenum boride, tungsten carbide andother materials, the rolls remain smoother produce an improved strip surface.Dissolution of iron from the incoming strip and iron powder on the strip produce dross particles in the vicinity of the V region where the strip enters the bath. This is the major source of dross. Iron in the steel strip and powder on the strip reacts with zinc andaluminum in the molten bath to produce dross as per the following chemical reaction:

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