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Surface Protective Coatings and Heat Treatment processes

Aero Engine is mainly divided into two portions. Cold end & hot end.75 percentage of parts are coated
with some coating. Material science has reached its pinnacle. Now surface coatings are the order of the
Protective coatings are divided into three categories:
Conversion coating, Overlay coatings, Diffusion coatings
Conversion coatings:
Chromating on Magnesium alloy parts
Anodizing on Aluminum alloy parts. Anodising (Chromic acid / Sulpuric acid)
Hard anodising for abrasive resistance.
Phosphating / Black oxide coating on steel parts.
Chemical composition of the Chromating bath:
Solution A:
Ammonium sulphate : 30 g/l
Ammonium Dichromate : 15 g/l
Potassium Dichromate : 15 g/l
Manganese sulphate : 10 g/l
Solution B:
Sodium Dichromate : 80-120 g/l
Manganese sulphate : 40- 60 g/l
Magnesium sulphate : 50-120 g/l

As base for organic paint application because it provides excellent non-porous bonding surface for all
paints that have good molecular adhesion.
Corrosion protection is proportional to thickness upto certain point.
Immerse in the prepared part in a solution A bath maintained at a temperature of 90-100 deg.C for 10
to 30 mts when the pH is 3.6 to 4.0. and water wash and oven dry and protect in an oil paper till the
part is taken for further processing.
Similarly, if solution B is used for chrome-manganese treatment then immerse the prepared part in
solution B maintained at pH value of 3.0 to 6.0 and depending on the temperature the immersion time

Brief on Anodizing:
Anodizing is a conversion coating of the surface of aluminum and its alloys to porous
aluminum oxide. Since the part acts as an anode in an electrolytic cell, It is called anodizing. There are
three types of anodizing processes via Chromic acid anodizing, Sulphuric acid anodizing and Hard
Alloy elements more than 7% and/or copper more than 5% in material, requires sulphuric
acid anodizing instead of Chromic acid anodizing.

Increase corrosion resistance when it is sealed either in hot water or in dichromate solution.
Improve decorative appearance.
Increase abrasion resistance
Increase paint adhesion
Improve adhesive bonding
Improve lubricity
Provide electrical insulation (dielectric)
Permit subsequent painting
Detection of surface flaws
Increase emissivity of Aluminum. When dyed black the film has excellent heat absorption up to 230

Overlay coatings
Organic paints
Inorganic paints
Ceramic paints
Organic paints on Aluminium , Mg
alloys (Castings)
Inorganic paints on Steel parts
Outer casings & Discs
Ceramic paints on Nickel base
alloys Hot end parts

Among the unique family of inorganic coatings capable of resisting temperature extremes, corrosion
and abrasive attack, Sermetel is unequaled in its experience with high performance coatings. Sermetel
inorganic coatings and processes provide economical, long lasting, thin film protection on ferrous and
non-ferrous metals used in severe and hostile environments. Sermetel is completely dis-similar from
paints. Sermetel coatings and processes develop an un-equaled chemical and metallurgical bond when
properly applied and cured on prepared substrates.
This tenacious interface is flexible, unaffected by age, and resistant to thermal, mechanical
and chemical abuse. Sermetel has three different types namely Sermetel W, Sermetel 709 and Semaseal
570A. Sermetel W is a slurry comprised of an acidic chromatic/phosphate binder and dispersed
aluminum particles. Sermetel 709 is same as Sermetel W but thin version. Sermaseal 570A is a seal
coating over Sermetel W and Sermetel 709.

PL-134 Ceramic paint:

Resistant against thermal fatigue –
Indigenously developed.
Application: Vapour gutters,
Micro turbo stators – Adour.
PTAE-7 engine turbine wheel
Plasma coatings:
Wear, erosion, corrosion, Fretting wear resistant coatings.

Abradable & wire spraying.

Plasma coatings by plasma gun.
Metallisation by oxy-accetylane gun.
Thermal Barrier coating – Plasma
These coatings are applied for repair
Scheme also.

Plasma spray is one of the technologies used for application of metallic material and ceramic
material on prepared metallic components of all types of alloys viz aluminium, magnesium, steel,
nickel base, cobalt base alloys.
Diamond jet coating is a better choice compared to Detonation gun coating due to its commercial
availability and continuous characteristic. It is more flexible and easy to operate and provides very
dense coatings.
It produces a dense coating less than 0.5 volume percent porosity and well bonded.
It’s bonding strength is greater than 10000 PSI.
It has excellent high temperature wear resistance.
The coating hardness will be 600-900 VPN.
LP Turbine blade-Adour
Turbine air seal rings
Turbine baffle dampers, Turbine inner nozzle support
Fuel rod mandrels
Hot crushing rolls
Steam turbine vanes and buckets.

D-Gun coating for high wear

/ Fretting wear resistant coatings.
Materials: Chromium carbide /
Nickel chrome powders. Tungsten
carbide powder, etc,.
Ex.: Adour LPT & HPT blades.
HVOF Gun coating alternate to
D-Gun coating.
The detonation spray coating unit mainly consists of double walled barrel one
meter long tube of 1” in diameter combustion chamber and powder feeder, apart from control panels to
regulate the gas flows and operation. The overall set-up also includes an appropriate manipulator to
hold the work piece and control its movements.

The process involves injection of fuel and oxygen gas into combustion chamber. Injection of powder and
nitrogen gas. Gas detonation and powder acceleration. Chamber ventilation. The above cycle is
repeated at a predetermined frequency to achieve the desired coating thickness.

Advantages of detonation spray coating process:

Low substrate temperature
No distortion on substrate
No change in microstructure of the substrate
High bond strength coating > 10,000 Psi.
High density microstructure < 1% porosity.
Smooth surface finish
Controlled residual compressive stress, better wear, and abrasion and corrosion resistance.

Chromium carbide/Nickel chrome powder(75/25) coating by detonation gun system is on shroud end
faces of Adour LP turbine blades to protect against high temperature fretting wear.


Cobalt-chromium carbide is a composite coating and is deposited using electrolytic plating route. The
process comprises of plating cobalt and chromium carbide particles of 2 to 5 micrometer size
simultaneously from a cobalt electrolytic -plating bath. The part to be plated is made as cathode and
cobalt chips work as anodes.

Plating of cobalt –chromium carbide is achieved using a normal electro-plating system fitted with a plate
bumper. The plate bumper is made to move up and down in order to keep the fine chromium carbide
particles in suspension in the electrolytic bath. When the current is applied between the anode and
cathode, cobalt ions move from anode to cathode and in that process they also carry fine chromium
carbide particles resulting in co-deposition of cobalt and chromium carbide.
- A versatile process capable of meeting a wide range of application requirements.
- Coating is dense and non-porous, theoretical density 99.9%.
- Capable of operating at temperatures up to 800 deg.C.
- Bond strength is in excess of 70 N/ Psi).
- Blind faces and internal bores down to 6 mm can be plated.
- Can be ground conventionally.
- Surface finish as plated 0.4 to 0.6 micrometers CLA
- Surface finish lapped 0.0125 micrometers CLA
- Reduced counter face wear on many materials.
-A cold process reducing component distortions to a minimum.


Hard Chromium Plating is produced by electro-deposition from a solution containing
chromic acid(CrO3) and a catalytic anion in proper proportion. Chromium plating is hard and corrosion
resistant; It is also excellent wear resistant. Hard Chromium deposits are intended primarily to increase
the service life of functional parts by providing a surface with low coefficient of friction that resists
galling, abrasive, lubricated wear and corrosion. It is also used to restore dimensions of undersized
parts. Hard Chromium is normally deposited to thickness ranging from 2.5 to 500 microns.
The nickel plating process is used extensively for decorative, engineering and
electroforming purposes because the appearance and other properties of electrodeposited nickel can be
varied over wide ranges by controlling the composition and the operating parameters of the plating
Electroless nickel plating is used to deposit nickel without the use of an electric current.
The coating is deposited by an autocatalystic chemical reduction of nickel ions by hypophosphite,
aminoborane or borohydride compounds.
Good resistance to corrosion and wear
Excellent uniformity
Solder ability and brazeability
Low labour costs.

Higher chemical cost than electro-plating.
Poor welding characteristics due to contamination of nickel plate with nickel-phosphorus deposits.
Slower plating rate, as compared to electrolyte methods.

Electroless nickel plating is produced by the controlled chemical reduction of nickel ions onto
a catalytic surface. The deposit itself is catalytic to reduction, and the reaction continues as long as the
surface remains in contact with the electroless nickel solution.
Electroless nickel solutions are blends of different chemicals, each performing an important function,
electroless nickel solution contain:
A Source of nickel, i.e. nickel sulfate
A reducing agent to supply electrons for the reduction of nickel.
Energy i.e. heat
Complexing agents to control the free nickel available to the reaction.
Buffering agents to resist the pH changes caused by the hydrogen generated during deposition
Accelerators to help increase the speed of the reaction.
Inhibitors(stabilizers) to help control reduction.
Cadmium plating is used to protect steel and cast iron against corrosion, because cadmium is
anode to iron, the underlying ferrous metal is protected at the expense of cadmium plating. It is a thin
coating the thickness is less than 25 microns. It is seldom used as undercoating for other metals and its
resistance to corrosion by most chemicals is low.
It has natural lubricity

Non corrosive fluxes can be used to produce top quality soldered sections.
Steel that is coated with cadmium can be formed and shaped because of the ductility of the cadmium.

elimination of its use for many applications.

Selectron plating also called as brush plating is carried out by applying an electrolyte
on to the prepared surface by a hand held anode or stylus, which incorporates an absorbent wrapping
for applying the solution to the work piece( cathode). A direct current power pack drives the
electrochemical reaction, depositing the desired metal on the substrate.
Other surface modification
PVD, CVD coatings, Titanium Nitride coatings, Laser cladding / modifications etc., are very widely
Diffusion Coatings
(Indigenously developed In-house)
Al-Si diffusion coating
Sermalloy-J coating
Pt-Aluminide coating
Applications : Turbine Blades / Turbine wheels
Surface coatings are all consideredas sacrificial coatings , because hey suffer from hostile
environmentprotectingbase metal.
Advantage – Enhancement of life of component , Recoating / Re-claiming of parts, there by cost
reduction, Replacement of parts are avoided.
Organic Paint Application
Degrease / Metal cleaning
Chromate / Anodising (Mg /Al)
Apply Primer by Spray gun
Bake at 100-200 Deg C range
Mix paint thoroughly
Check viscosity
Apply paint by Spray gun
Air Dry
Bake at 190-200 Deg C for ½ Hr
Sermetel Paint Application
Degrease - Mask – Abrasive Blast –
Clean with dry Air – Mask – Mix
Sermetel –W thoroughly - Check
viscosity – Apply by spray gun –
Air dry – Apply Second coat – Air
Dry – Oven Dry at 190 Deg C for
½ Hr – Bake at 350 Deg C for 1 Hr.
and 560 Deg C for 1 Hr. – Check
thickness and surface finish
Sermetel Paint Application
Glassbead peen (Burnishing) –
Abbrasive Blast – Apply Sermoseal
570A – Air Dry – Oven Dry at 190
Deg C for ½ Hr. Bake at 350 deg.c for 1hour. – Inspect
Thickness of coating is
50 – 100 microns for Sermetel –W
8-10 microns for Sermoseal 570A
Plasma / D-Gun Coating
Abrasive blast
Clean with Dry Air
Apply Bond Coat (Plasma)
Apply Over Coat (Plasma)
Apply Coat – D-Gun
Check Thickness / Quality
Aluminising / Al-Si Diffusion
Clean with dry air
Pack in powder
Load into furnace at temp.
Inlet argon
Soak for required time
Cool and clean the parts
Aluminising / Al-Si Diffusion
Coating contd
10 % Ardrox Ultrasonic cleaning
Wash in cold water
5 % Citric acid cleaning
Wash in Cold water & Hot water
Air Dry
Diffusion Heat treatment
Check thickness and Quality
Platinum Aluminide Coating
Remove Mask and Remask
Electrolytic Alkaline Cleaning
Acid Etching
Wash in Hot / Cold Water
Platinum plating
Wash in Cold / Hot Water
Dry & Inspect Thickness & Quality
Platinum Aluminide Coating Contd
High Temp. Diffusion
10 % Ardrox Ultrasonic cleaning
Wash in cold water
5 % Citric acid cleaning
Wash in Cold water & Hot water
Air Dry
High Temp. Diffusion
Inspect Thickness & Quality
All metallic parts in Aero Engine will under go some type of Heat treatment to achieve required
properties specified in drawing / specifications.
Heat treat processes
Annealing – Steel
Normalising, Hardening & Tempering – steels
Stress Relieving for all types of materials.
Solutionising & precipitation (Aging) heat treatment for Al, Mg, Ti, & Ni base alloys
Heat treat processes contd
5. Surface hardening processes
a) Gas carburising
b) Gas nitriding
c) Cyaniding
6. De-embrittlement Heat treatment
7. Baking / curing of painted parts
Heating the steel to 900 deg C and followed by furnace cooling. (Muffle / vacuum). Material softens.
Hence any forming and machining,welding can be done easily.
Normalising, Hardening & Tempering
This process is applicable to carbon steels / alloy steels to achieve required properties & for Machining.
Normalising : Heating to 900 deg C -hold – Air cool (Muffle / vacuum)
Result : Uniform microstructure / chemical composition distribution.
Hardening : To achieve required hardness. Heating to 850 deg C – hold – oil quench / Gas quench in
muffle / Neutral salt bath / Vacuum Furnace respectively.
Result : Transformation to Martensitic structure. Hard & Brittle. Material in strained Condition
Tempering : Heating to 550 – 600 deg C for 1 to 2 hrs followed by air cooling (Air circulating furnace)
Result : Reduction in Brittleness. Required hardness / ductility achieved.
Stress Relieving:
Heating to temperature less than orequal to tempering temperature, hold for 1-2 hrs and air cool.
Induced stress due to machining, cold forming or welding is removed. Applicable for any material.
Solutionising & Aging (Precipitation)
Aluminium : Heating to 505 to 525 deg C
for required duration in air circulating
furnace & water quenching / Brine
quenching etc.,
Result : All the constituents will go to
solid solution.
Ex: Copper in Aluminium remains in
solid solution.
Conditions : Soft, easy to machine/ form
Solutionising & Aging (Precipitation) contd

Aging : (a) Natural Aging

(b) Artificial Aging (Precipitation)
Natural Aging takes place at room temp in 48
Artificial Aging takes place at elevated temp. at
150-200 deg C for 16 Hrs.
Result : Copper precipitates as CuAl2
Inter-metallic compound in grain boundary and
attain mechanical properties.
Hardness : 120 – 150 BHN
Tensile Strength : 40-42 Kgs / mm2
Elongation : 10% Minimum
Solutionising & Aging (Precipitation)
Titanium and Nickel Base alloys also
will undergo solutionising & Aging to
get mechanical properties & High temp.
properties viz creep & stress rupture
Solutionising : At 950 deg C for Ti- alloys, at 950-1150 deg C for Ni -Base Alloys
Aging : 550 – 700 deg C for Ti- alloys
700 - 850 deg C for Ni- Base
Surface Hardening Processes
Gas carburising : Introduction of additional carbon onto surface of components viz gears / shafts etc.,
and hardening and tempering is called case hardening.
Temperature : 900 to 925 deg C
Duration : Depends on Thickness
Surface hardness : Rc 60 min (Some times Rc 57 acceptable)
Core hardness : Rc 32-36 & Rc 36-43
Surface Hardening Processes contd
Application : Gear teeth, Bearing diameter, Shafts etc.,
Purpose : Wear resistant, Increase fatigue with tough core for resistance to shock load
Surface Hardening Processes contd
b) Gas Nitriding : Introduction of Nacent Nitrogen onto surface of steel components at temp. less than
tempering temp. of part. The Nacent Nitrogen combines with alloying elements viz Cr, V, Mo, etc.,
forms respective nitrides and become hard surface to a depth required.
Nitriding temp : 490 – 505 deg C
Duration : 12 ,24, 48,72 etc.,
Surface Hardening Processes contd
Cyaniding :
Introduction of carbon andNitrogen onto surface of the component. This is done in a salt bath
containing sodium cyanide, sodium chloride bath. Heated to 870 deg C and dipping the parts for a period
of 15-20 minutes to achieve case depth of 0.20 mm max
Surface Hardening Processes
Cyaniding : contd
Then hardened and tempered
820 deg C – Oil quench / salt
quench at 190 deg c – Air cool
140 – 150 deg C for 2 hrs. Air cool
in air circulating furnace.
Hardness : Rc 58- 61 Surface
Rc 32- 36 )
Rc 36- 43 ) Core
Quality Control Checks :
All furnaces and ovens are to be in calibrated condition. Periodically to be calibrated
including thermocouples. Temperature Controller,. Temperature recorder, over temperature controls
are required to every furnace. Whenever test piece requirements are given in drawing, they have to be
processed along with parts.
Quality Control Checks : contd
Daily check / Annual calibration of Hardness testing machines is a must.
After Hardening & Tempering, Hardness to be checked & record (Rockwell, Vickers or Brinnel
methods.) For surface hardening processes the following specimens to be processed & checked.
Quality Control Checks : contd
Gas carburising :
Spy Test specimen – For case depth, quality, hardness
Gear cut specimen (Simulated T.P.) – Case depth, quality, hardness
Carbon potential test specimen – Percentage of carbon on surface
Retained Austenite test specimen – To check for retained austenite in the case
Quality Control Checks : contd
Nitriding :
Spy Test specimen – For case depth, quality, hardness
Impact test specimen – toughness, Temper Embrittlement
Cyaniding :
Spy Test specimen – Case depth, quality & Hardness
Quality Control Checks : contd
Neutral salt used for Hardening to be checked periodically
Cyanide content to be checked before use.
Quenching oil to be checked for contamination & acidity periodically
Trichloro ethylene to be checked for contamination & acidity.