INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL

OF

MATERIALS SCIENCE

AND

ENGINEERING

 International Science Press, ISSN: 0976-6243

Volume 2, Nos. 1-2, January-December 2011, pp. 147-152

HEAT TREATMENT OF THERMAL SPRAY COATINGS: A REVIEW
Kovid Sharma*, Sukhpal Singh Chatha, Hazoor Singh & Harkulvinder Singh
Department of Mechanical Engineering,Yadavindra College of Engineering, Punjabi University, Guru Kashi Campus, Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, Punjab-151302, India E-mails: sukhpal_chatha@yahoo.com, hazoors@yahoo.com, harkulvinder84@gmail.com

Abstract: The Hot corrosion is the main and severe problem which can be controlled by thermal spray coatings. The various Corrosion control measures include Surface Heat Treatment, Engineering Paints, Vitreous Enamelling, Cladding, Powder coatings, Zinc coatings, Tin Plate, Electroplating, Cadmium Plating, Anodising (Anodizing), Thermal Spray Coatings., Plasma Nitriding/Carburising/Boronising., Pack Cementation, Ion Implantation, Ceramic and Cermet materials., Chemical Vapour Deposition, Physical Vapour Deposition. The demand for protective coatings has increased recently for almost all types of super alloys with improved strength, since high-temperature corrosion problems become much more significant for these alloys with increasing operating temperatures of modern heat engines. The Major areas where coatings have the application are Power generation Industries, Ceramics Industries, Chemical Industries, Iron & steel Industries and Mining Industries etc. Open or closed porosity in thermal spray coatings can originate from several different factors: partially or totally unmolten particles, inadequate flow or fragmentation of the molten particle at impact, shadowing effects due to lower than the optimal spray angle, and entrapped gas. The interconnected (open) porosity allows the corrosive media to reach the coating-substrate interface, which eventually leads to delamination of the coatings. Although the development of the modern thermal spray processes has decreased coating porosities, the transport of corrosive species to the substrate can still only be prevented by coating post treatment. Therefore it’s of actual significance to develop an effective method to post treat the thermal spray coatings to enhance their life in corrosive environment. In this paper author has reviewed the significance of heat treatment in thermal spray coatings for improving their properties and has made an attempt to explore the potential of heat treatment process in thermal spray coatings. Keywords: Corrosion, Coatings, Thermal Spray, Heat Treatment.

1. INTRODUCTION Corrosion is a natural phenomenon. All natural processes end toward the lowest possible energy states. As described in the corrosion cycle of the steel shown in Fig. 1. The iron and steel have a natural tendency to combine with other chemical elements to return to their lowest energy states & they frequently combine with oxygen and water, both of which are present in most natural environments, to form hydrated iron oxides (rust), similar in chemical composition to the original iron ore (ASM International, 2000).

Corrosion is the deterioration of a material by its reaction with the surroundings. It adversely affects those properties that are to be preserved. At higher temperature, this mode of degradation is known as oxidation or dry corrosion (Sidhu T. S. et al., 2006). Metals and alloys sometimes experience accelerated oxidation when their surfaces are covered with a thin film of fused salt in an oxidizing atmosphere at elevated temperatures. This mode of attack is called hot corrosion (Sidhu T. S. et al., 2006; Sidhu, H.S. et al., 2006). Sidhu Buta Singh and Prakash S. observe that although corrosion problems cannot be completely remedied, it is estimated that corrosion-related costs can be reduced by more than 30% with development and use of better corrosion control technologies (Sidhu Buta Singh and Prakash S., 2006). Xue-mei OU.et al evaluates that main reason for hot corrosion on the boiler tube surface is the impurities, such as Na, K, and S, present in the coal being burned (Xue-mei OU.et al., 2008). The demand for protective coatings has increased recently for almost all types of super alloys with improved strength, since high-temperature corrosion problems become much more significant for these alloys with

Figure 1: The Corrosion Cycle of Steel (ASM 2000)
* Corresponding Author: kovids@yahoo.com

D. 2. Among the different thermal spray processes. 2007). 2006).et al. (V. and nondiffusional. gas turbines.. . suggests that Nickel-based alloy coatings show good high-temperature wear and corrosion resistance. et al. WC-CoCr. deposits NiCrBCSi metal (Fe) to hard reset show better properties and performance compared to hard chromium deposits. 2011). However. Porosity or voids in the coating micro structure is an important issue in thermal spraying. Wear resistance improves after adding W and Mo elements to the alloy.. based on processes in which an external (overlay) coating is deposited on the surface with little inter-diffusion of elements only that necessary to guarantee adherence (Podchernyaeva I. The Heat Treatment process is one of the post treatment processes and widely used to reduce the interconnected porosity and inter splat boundaries. Detonation using a spark generates waves of high temperature and pressure which heat the powder particles to their melting point or above. 2009). laser remelting etc. fuel type. and St35.g. deposits St35. Solution-precursor plasma spray (SPPS). Dense coatings usually provide better corrosion resistance than porous coatings (Sidhu et al. Hence to be reviewed and further helpful in the post treatments of thermal spray coatings. spraying systems using high particle velocities produce dense coatings with small splat size. blades and vanes of gas turbines are subjected to high thermal stresses and mechanical loads.. Souza. This is due to the existence of microstructure. such as geometry and powder feed respectively. coatings are post treated by various methods such as heat treatment. S. such as Air plasma spray (APS). To reduce the interconnected porosity and inter splat boundaries. Uusitalo. this element oxidizes to Cr2O3 at rates which could make it suitable for use up to about 900°C (Sidhu T. (Aalamialeagha M. reveals that high Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) spray techniques can produce high performance alloy and cermet coatings for applications that require wear resistant surfaces. the base material provides the necessary mechanical properties and coatings provide protection against oxidation and corrosion (Sidhu et al.. and Lebaili S.8 steel. High velocity oxygen fuel spray (HVOF). together with the design and geometry of the spray gun.et al. St35. for example. but they are much more resistant at high temperatures and in aggressive environments: for these reasons they are used. 2002. Only composite materials are able to meet such a demanding spectrum of requirements. Z et al. this may be an appropriate alternative to hard chromium and enable better protection of the environment.A. A. Super D-Gun and HVOF have different features. Hot corrosion has been observed in boilers.. it became a topic of importance and popular interest in the late 1960s when gas turbine engines of military aircraft suffered severe corrosion attacks during the Vietnam conflict while operating over and near sea water. Serresa. (Sundararajan et al.8 steel with chromium and aluminium diffusion coatings.. Including the filing NiCrBCSi (Fe) type A. 2006). On the other hand Aalamialeagha M. 13CrMo4-5 steel. During operation. So lot of techniques. fuel/oxygen ratio. E. In addition.. 2009. 2003). The most common coatings are WC-Co.2000).. Sidhu T. When nickel is alloyed with chromium. Magnetron sputtering. In general. et al. have been used to deposit MCrAlY bond coat on super alloys (Zhiming Li.A. Ni-based coatings are used in applications when wear resistance combined with oxidation or hot corrosion resistance is required. THERMAL SPRAY COATINGS & PROCESSES Methods for the deposition of protective coatings on heatresistance alloys (HRA) can be separated into two basic groups : thermal diffusion. composed of the Ni3B nickel boride and matrix reinforced by nano precipitates rich in chromium (Abdi S. Electron-beam physical vapor deposition (EB-PVD).148 International Journal of Materials Science and Engineering ( IJMSE) increasing operating temperatures of modern heat engines (Sidhu Buta Singh and Prakash S. et al. HVOF coatings require the careful matching of the powder feed material to the process variables e. as due to this physical property. A. Neville..A. Cr 3C2-NiCr coatings show comparatively poorer tribological properties. corrosion resistance of different thermal spraying coatings differs. 2005). Vacuum plasma spray (VPS). Uusitalo M. Ahmaniemi et al. and Lebaili S. 2008). in steam turbine blades or in boiler tubes for power generation (Kaur Manpreet et al.. sealing.8 steel with different kinds of thermal sprayed coatings were used as test materials. Abdi S. 2010). 2006). high bonding strength and large contact area between individual splats (M. they are also attacked chemically by oxidation and/or high-temperature corrosion. For the Super D-Gun process the gases (acetylene and oxygen) are mixed along with a pulse of powder introduced into the barrel. E. and Cr 3C 2-NiCr systems. based on processes leading to a change in the composition and structure of the surface layer of the HRA as a result of its contact and reaction with alloying chemical elements. 2002). S. fluidized bed combustion and industrial waste incinerators since the 1940s. internal combustion engines.

et al. scanning electronic microscopy and micro-analyses. This effect was produced because by adding Li the adhesion of the external protective layer was decreased by inducing a higher number of discontinuities inside the grain boundaries. (Wei P. % (Ni3Al) alloys with additions of 1.%C) is improved by adding 20 wt. When the alloys were thermally annealed. decreasing the number of paths for the outwards diffusion of Al from the alloy to form the external. while tempering at 550°C reduced these mechanical properties. % Cr-3. Both micro structural characterization and porosity determination were carried out before and after the heat treatments. coatings are post treated by various methods such as heat treatment. Studies showed that the thermal treatment of the coating resulted in a reduction of tensile strength. When the alloys were thermally annealed. protective Al 2O3 layer (GonzalezRodriguez J.. The corrosion behaviour of the SS 316L coating was studied not only in the as-coated condition. The tests were complemented by X-ray diffraction. The abrasive wear resistance is feedstock powders due to their intrinsic low temperature . Here are some studies on the heat treatment of thermal spray coatings. The in-situ co-deposition of Cr-Si into Cr 17Ni 2 stainless steel (similar to AISI 431) was achieved using a pack cementation process. With increasing heat treatment temperature. The corrosion performance of several Ni–Al alloys in 62 mol% Li2CO3–38 mol% K2CO3 at 650 °C has been studied using the weight loss technique.et al reveals the results regarding the effect of both carburizing flame and argon atmosphere post-heat treatments on the microstructure and corrosion resistance of NiCrWBSi coatings are reported. 4.R.. much improved compared with that of Stellite 6 (Shieh Yune-Hua et al.%B-4. a more uniform distribution of the hard phases. and a decrease in the number of micro cracks and unmelted particles. but the improvement of impact toughness. a coating containing approximately 27 wt. et al.Heat Treatment of Thermal Spray Coatings: A Review 149 3. et al.9wt. HEATTREATMENT OFTHERMAL SPRAY COATINGS Heat treatment is a process of heating the metals or steel alloys at high temperature for some fixed time which changes the microstructure of the substrate. although the coating had little effect on the mechanical properties of the bulk. Through the optimum parameters. but also after heat treatment at 400. The hardness and wear resistance of a thermalsprayed self-fluxing alloy (Ni-17wt.2wt. et al. For comparison.. heat treatment of thermally sprayed deposits can release residual stress. Tempering at 300 or 450°C improved the tensile strength and the impact toughness of the steel at 9 and –55°C. Heat treatment reduced the porosity. as due to this physical property. 2009). the mass loss was increased. these irregularities in the grain boundaries disappeared (Gonzalez-Rodriguez J. Gff L. 2008).3 vol. Alloys included 50Ni–50Al at.%Si-4. Wan X.. 1993).G. % Cr and 2 wt. et al. Porosity is decreased from 20 to 0.. 2008).% Si was obtained. 3wt.. with a layer thickness of approximately 120 mm. 2009). % (NiAl) and 75Ni–25Al at. 3 and 5 at. improved inter-splat bonding. % Li each one. by either by heat treating these base alloys or by adding Li.1 N HNO3 solution as determined using polarization tests. SOME STUDIES ON HEAT TREATMENT OF THERMAL SPRAY COATINGS As we found that Porosity or voids in the coating micro structure is an important issue in thermal spraying. and this reduction was accompanied by pronounced micro structural changes regarding the disappearance of the initial lamellar structure.. decrease the porosity and improve the microstructure and properties of the deposits (Wang H. Results showed that NiAl-base alloy without heat treatment presented the lowest corrosion rate even lower than Ni3Al alloy but still higher than conventional 316Ltype stainless steel. evaluates the response of cold sprayed SS 316L coatings on mild steel substrate to aqueous corrosion in a 0. with or without a heat treatment at 400° C during 144 h. Sundararajan G. In general terms. corrosion resistance of different thermal spraying coatings differs and to reduce the interconnected porosity and inter splat boundaries. % by the heating if pre-heating at 950°C is carried out to facilitate the escape of trapped gases. It was determined that both treatments had reduced the porosity considerably.2009). et al. Generally. Results from potentiodynamic studies carried out in a 5% NaCl solution have indicated an increase in the corrosion resistance of both heat-treated coatings (Gff L.% of B13C2 to the powder and heating the coating at 1030°C in a vacuum of 10–2 Torr. 3wt.T.G. the density of weakly/ unbounded inter-splat boundaries and porosity decrease with a corresponding increase in elastic modulus (Sundararajan G. 2000). 800 and 1100°C. 2011). The presence of numerous precipitates of It is difficult to deposit dense intermetallic compound Cr3C2 and CrB in the coating is consistent with a Rockwell coatings by cold spraying directly using compound hardness of HRC 63. these irregularities in the grain boundaries disappeared. increased the elastic modulus and more importantly increased the corrosion resistance of the cold sprayed SS 316L coating (Sundararajan G.%Fe-0. AISI-316L type stainless steel was also studied.

microstructure and micro hardness of coldsprayed Fe (Al)/Al2O3 composite coating was investigated. Bolelli et al. microstructure and mechanical properties of the coating was investigated by using XRD. The heat treatment is therefore an effective way to improve the overall performance of the Co800 and D4006 coatings. Annealing temperature significantly influenced the microstructure and micro hardness of the cold-sprayed FeAl/Al2O3 coating. so that its overall corrosion resistance may seem to be reduced by the heat treatment (G. where adhesion is particularly severe due to direct contact between metallic surfaces. On raising the temperature to over 950 °C. friction coefficient soon gets to a steady value. The results show that the desirable intermetallic phases such as Fe2Al5. However. the Ni700 coating shows greater sensitivity to crevice corrosion. The properties of the heat-treated Co800 coating are particularly significant when compared to those of electrolytic hard chrome (EHC). By contrast. 2009). friction increases again and continues to oscillate periodically because adhesive wear continues to raise flash temperature up to the critical value. A method to prepare intermetallic compound coatings in-situ employing cold spraying was developed using a metastable alloy powder assisted with post heat treatment. so that an overall improvement in their corrosion resistance is found and they have lower corrosion current density. and consequently the contact point temperature reaches a critical value where rapid oxidation occurs.2009). Lusvarghi examined the tribological behavior of HVOF sprayed Co-28%Mo-17%Cr-3%Si coatings. The effect of heat treatment on the phase formation. In the tests against alumina pin. a nanostructured Fe (Al)/Al2O3 composite alloy coating was prepared by cold spraying of ball-milled powder. This coating is mainly amorphous due to splat quenching. In this study. abrasive wear is prevalent. The coating wear rate against alumina . beneficial effect prevails in the case of Co800 and D4006 coatings. Most importantly. and gradually decreased to 400HV 0. G. evaluated the effect of a 600°C. Instead. G. the wear loss is negligible for the coating and decreased by two orders of magnitude for the pin. both as deposited and after heat treatments. Oxides decrease the friction coefficient. after the heat treatment. the sample wear rate is smaller because less adhesion takes place. In this study. While the 200 and 400°C heat treatments do not cause any major change (the former one even degrading the coating properties). with peculiar friction coefficient behavior. it has low hardness and toughness. but can also trigger galvanic microcells at intralamellar level. Bolelli et al. 2008). still takes place. the effects of the heat treatment on the corrosion resistance of Ni700 are less obvious. The results showed that annealing at a temperature of 600°C results in the complete transformation of the Fe (Al) solid solution to a FeAl intermetallic compound. but they are not particularly adherent to the contacting surfaces and mostly form debris. because of the formation of secondary phases. The first. The cold-sprayed Fe (Al)/Al2O3 composite alloy coating was evolved in-situ to FeAl/Al2O3 intermetallic composite coating through a post heat treatment. but the Co-base alloy has sufficient intrinsic plasticity to withstand it without undergoing too much cutting wear. we find that the corrosion resistance of heat-treated Co800 is comparable to that of EHC and its tribological characteristics far surpass EHC under various contact conditions. diffusion occurred not only in the coating but also at the interface between the coating and substrate. Therefore.1 at 1100°C (Wang Hong-Tao et al. less active corrosion at interlamellar boundaries and improved corrodkote test resistance. i. The effect of annealing treatment conditions on phase composition. the fast oxidation process. A method to prepare intermetallic composite coatings employing the cost-efficient electric arc spraying twin wires assistant with suitable heat treatment was developed. Adhesion causes a rapid increase in friction coefficient. a carbon steel wire as the anode and an aluminum wire as the cathode by Chen Yongxiong et al. the 600°C treatment causes the appearance of sub-micrometric crystalline regions improving hardness and elastic modulus. By coupling the corrosion test outcomes to former results on tribological behaviour. The inter-deposited Fe–Al coating was transformed in-situ to Fe–Al intermetallic composite coating after a post annealing treatment. resulting in poor tribological performance—particularly. no friction coefficient peaks occur nor is fast oxidation started. correlating it with microstructural and micromechanical features.e.1 at an annealing temperature below 500°C. FeAl and Fe3Al are obtained under the annealing condition.. the heat treatment has two major effects on the tested coatings: it improves interlamellar cohesion. A significant degree of splat boundary oxidation exists in the as-sprayed coating. thus. its low hardness promotes adhesive wear against 100Cr6 steel pins. The main oxide in the coating is FeO which can partially transform to Fe3O4 up to the annealing condition (Chen Yongxiong et al. a Fe–Al composite coating was produced by spraying twin wires. EDS and OM as well as micro hardness tester. In general. The micro hardness of the FeAl/Al 2O 3 coating was maintained at about 600HV0.150 International Journal of Materials Science and Engineering ( IJMSE) brittleness. Most of the wear loss occurs in the first stage. Adhesive phenomena between coating and steel pin are thus definitely reduced. 1 h heat treatment on the corrosion performance of three HVOF-sprayed metal alloy coatings by electrochemical corrosion tests and corrodkote test. SEM. Bolelli and L. because of exothermic oxidative reaction occurring at T > 810°C. reducing active corrosion along interlamellar boundaries.

“Studies on the Behaviour of Stellite6 as Plasma Sprayed and Laser Remelted Coatings in Molten Salt Environment at 900 °C Under Cyclic Conditions”. (2006). Heat treatment is one of them which found to give better results in reducing the porosity considerably and improves interlamellar cohesion. “Nickel-Chromium Plasma Spray Coatings: A Way to Enhance Degradation Resistance of Boiler Tube Steels in Boiler Environment”. Buta Singh Sidhu. CONCLUSION • Thermal Spray Coatings are very effective for corrosion. pp. Hence it has been observed that with the heat treatment of thermal spray coatings better results can be obtained in post treatment of the coatings for enhancing their life for different applications but not much work has been done in this field to post treat the coatings and by changing the parameters like Temperature and time of heat treatment better results can be obtained in post treatment of the coatings. hence their life is reduced. 52-63. but due to interconnected porosity the corrosive species are able to penetrate and attack the substrate via interconnected network of voids and oxide at splat boundaries. preventing the appearance of friction coefficient peaks and of fast oxidation. Thus. 172. Fig. References • • • [1] ASM International. “Corrosion: Understanding the Basics”. 5. performing a 600°C. 1 h heat treatment in air could be suggested as a way to improve the sliding wear performance of the present alloy at room temperature. Lusvarghi. Bolelli and L. [2] [3] Figure 2: Pyramid Showing the Summery of the Work Done in the Field of Heat Treatment as Post Treatment . 15:131140 (Submitted February 17. adhesive phenomena are further reduced. S. 2000.Heat Treatment of Thermal Spray Coatings: A Review 151 pin is not significantly changed because abrasive wear still prevails. 2005. Journal of Materials Processing Technology. so there are no major changes in the wear process. (#06691G). Ohio. However. in Revised form July 14. Prakash. Buta Singh Sidhu and S. erosion and wear applications. ASM International . JTTEE5. Materials Park. Prakash. USA. Further the various Post treatments of thermal spray coatings are effective methods to improve their life. 2006). 2005). The 600°C heat treated coating wear rates are lower than those recorded by the authors for hard chrome platings at room temperature under the same testing conditions (G. From the literature it has been observed that not much work has been done in this field to post treat the coatings and by changing the parameters like Temperature and time of heat treatment better results can be obtained in post treatment of the coatings for enhancing their life for different applications. 2 describes the some of the work done in the heat treatment in the shape of pyramid.

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