A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES

A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES

SEMINAR PAPER SUBMITTED BY RAKESH KRISHNAN .R DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING S.N.M.I.N.T

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

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A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES

ABSTRACT

Spray tooling techniques are the techniques used for "Getting actual component in hand fast". It is having a great importance in exploring new design concepts as well as materials. It has emerged as a novel alternative to the CNC manufacture for hard tooling. It involves basically robot controlled spraying of molten metal on a master pattern made up of ceramics or any other suitable material, to form a thick, dimensionally accurate steel shell. It is emerging as an important technology because the cost is about 75% less and the moulds can be made within 1/5th time. Still due to its major disadvantages like, oxidation, porosity, residual stresses etc. it has not come up as a popular manufacturing technology. Many people have conducted various researches for the past few years, and the results have been published. In this paper an attempt is made to compile these results and to show the variation of properties with respect to various process parameters.

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

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A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES

INTRODUCTION

"Getting actual component in hand fast" is having a great importance in exploring new design concepts as well as materials. However many mass produced items ranging from cell phones to automotive parts, are formed from moulds or dies that require intricate machining and long lead times to produce. Sheet metal stamping dies, for example, can cost upward of $1 million, requiring lead-time of 40 weeks. Scientists and industries are continuously developing technologies in order to meet these challenges. Rapid tool making is one such technology that adopts rapid prototyping techniques and applies them to tool and die making, which is becoming an attractive alternative to traditional machining.

When effectively implemented within a concurrent engineering environment, RTM has the capacity to dramatically improve the speed and cost of product development. There exist several rapid prototyping technologies such as stereo lithography, selective laser sintering, 3-D printing, fused deposition modelling, laminated object manufacturing, and solider process etc. Spray tooling technology is one among them, which offers versatility in terms of tool size, low cost and the ability to rapidly fabricate prototype. In aerospace field larger, more complex, structural composite components, coupled with the advancements in thermoset and thermoplastic resins has necessitated the development of more dimensionally stable tooling, having a coefficient of thermal expansion matched to that of the composite component being manufactured. So spray tooling methods are preferred in this field. In addition to this process will give us good durability, vacuum integrity and good surface finish.
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faithfully reproducing the mould shape. yet they have not made a significant in-road into this market. new researches are going on in this field to make it suitable for the production process. Spray tooling. which are then carried away by a carrier gas and get deposited on a master pattern.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES Spray tooling has been employed as a good technique for the past few years. and texture. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 4 . also called spray forming. is the inert gas atomization of a molten metal into very fine droplets. Then a castable ceramic mould is made from this master. This paper compiles some of the various researches in this field to study about the challenges in the process and suggests some methods to meet them. Molten metal is sprayed against the ceramic mould. Now. which is then converted into a master by a RP technology such as fused deposition system. The tool fabrication begins with a pattern design described by a CAD file. by minimizing its disadvantages. details.

A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES SPRAY TOOLING PROCESS Fig 1: Schematic diagram of the spray tooling process. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 5 .

Conventional spray tooling method is mainly based on two techniques. producing under cooled and semisolid particles. The particles get deposited onto a pattern that is manipulated in the jet to provide even coverage. The molten metal is forced into the spray nozzle under certain pressure. Although the coatings are of higher quality (denser. HVOF requires both a greater initial capital spend and has higher operating costs. As a result. The resulting weld pool is atomized by application of a gas at high pressure and transported to the pattern surface. a metal shell having the exact shape of the pattern is obtained which is then cooled to atmospheric temperature and separated from the pattern. The former is commonly used process whereby the metal feedstock. Aerodynamic forces will overcome the surface tension effects. in the form of a wire. Inside the nozzle. which is at a high temperature and pressure. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 6 . They are electric arc spraying and high velocity oxy fuelled (HVOF). the molten metal gets exposed to high velocity stream of an inert gas. HVOF utilizes a high velocity flame to fuse a powered feedstock and propel it to the pattern surface. Upon impact. disintegrating the molten metal into very fine droplets and forming a high velocity directed spray. Outside the nozzle the jet is exposed to relatively cold inert gas. the droplets will adopt the shape of the surface of the pattern. is fused by application of a high electric current at the point where the wire ends are brought into contact with themselves. which will act as a heat sink for the spray.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES A schematic diagram of the spray tooling process is given in the figure. harder) than arc spray deposited coatings.

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 7 .A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES An example for the spray tooling process is shown below: It shows the tool making process-using zinc with arc metal spray process: Fig 2: Steps in the spray tooling process for making Zn-tools.

A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES ADVANTAGES OF SPRAY TOOLING PROCESS (a) Low cost and small lead times: Spray formed tools have the capacity to reduce tool lead times by 50% and tool costs by up to 30%. (e) Improved Mechanical Properties: In most of the cases. we will get the mechanical properties better than the conventionally cast materials of the same composition. (c) Near Net Shape: The ability to spray form large near net shape extrusion/forging perform tubes. (d) Metal Matrix Composites: Introduction of a ceramic material into a spray of molten metal at a very high velocity will result in a comparatively homogeneous metal matrix. This is because of the rapid DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 8 . which is a desired property for moulds and tools. depending on the specific tooling application. rolls and strips with fine scale microstructure in large cross sections directly from metal offers potential economic benefits in comparison with conventional techniques for manufacture. Again the very high cooling rate will help to avoid the interfacial reactions during the solidification process. (b) Fine scale microstructure: The structure of spray formed steel is found to be consisting of refined (10 ² 100 m) equi-axed grains. This will give improved mechanical properties to the materials formed by this process compared to the materials obtained by ordinary casting process.

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 9 . Ni. Cu. we have to go for very expensive mould production methods. Pb. If we have to manufacture a very complex geometry. Co and steels. This will help to eliminate macro-segregation and promote the formation of fine. If quality components are to be produced. uniform. To improve the mechanical properties. This can be accomplished at a very lower cost and faster rate using spray-tooling methods. researches are going on in this field to develop new composite materials. (g) Manufacture of Precision Moulds: Injection molding techniques are employed for producing high volumes of complex components in fully automated environments.0000c/s. and equi-axed grain structures. (f) Flexibility: Spray forming is able to manufacture a wide range of materials some of which are difficult to produce using other methods including alloys of Al. Ti. manufacture of precision molds is necessary. Mg.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES solidification rate of the molten metal sprayed which is having a rate of about 100 to 100.

When the partially oxidized particles hit the target surface. This will lead to considerable disadvantages in terms of the strength It was observed through experiments that the important parameters that influence the formation of oxides in the spray tooling process are: (a) Spray height (b) Atomizing gas pressure (c) Flow rate of the gas (d) Current intensity in electrical arc spray tooling Spray height has the strongest influence on the oxide content. But due to the oxidation problems nowadays nitrogen is commonly used. are traveling with a velocity of about 100 m/s. machinability and DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 10 . inclusion of oxide inside the deposited layers will create a major challenge on the strength basis. which are of 0. more and more metal will get deposited over it and thus oxide inclusions will result. It is observed that by reducing the height from 160mm to 120mm the oxide formation can be halved.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES TECHNICAL CHALLENGES: (a) Formation of Oxides: Oxidation of the sprayed molten metal is one of the major technical challenges in ordinary spray tooling process. It is found that during the spraying process the droplets. Oxidation happens mainly in this travel. For press tooling applications. which are again easily subjected to oxidation. they will splash into tiny droplets. fracture toughness.1 mm diameter. Since molten metal gets deposited as one layer over the other. After the formation of an oxidized layer. Traditionally in arc spraying process. compressed air is used as the atomizer and the carrier gas.

which is highly influenced by the formation of oxides.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES weldability are of great consideration. Experimentally observed results for the influence of the various factors on oxidation are shown below: DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 11 .

it can be assumed that in the case of higher power for same air flow rate. and therefore particles are less heated and oxidized. The flow rate of the gas is having a considerable effect on the oxidation. there is less exchange between air and material. since a minimum height is required to avoid re-deposition of splashed droplets on the electric arc gun. So reducing the spray height can reduce the problem of oxidation to an extent.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES Fig 3: Effect of spray height and atomising pressure on oxide content. it can be seen that spray height is the major factor that influences the formation of oxides. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 12 . At the same time we cannot decrease it to any extent. It is seen that as the flow rate increases the extent of oxidation also increases. From experimental observations. Since wire feed rate increases automatically with current intensity. But experimental results have shown that an increase in the current intensity leads to a decrease in the coating oxide content. But as far as the power used for the arc spraying process is concerned. it is not having any considerable influence on the formation of oxides.

Dry porosity is formed when the deposit surface has too low-liquid fraction and shows a large number of small pores at the unfilled interstices between droplets. Shrinkage occurs when the surface cools faster after the deposition. It is found that by adjusting the composition of spraying metals. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 13 . which are typically entrapped gas that evolve during the impingement of the droplets into liquid layer at the surface. and the liquid inside the liquid solidifies later. Wet porosity or gas porosity is formed when the deposit has too high a liquid fraction and shows a small number of large pores. we can control porosity to an extent. and solidification shrinkage. They are: dry porosity. wet porosity.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES (b) Porosity: According to researches there are three types of porosity observed in spray deposited castings. Fig 4: Effect of spray angle and gun scanning velocity on porosity. It is observed that presence of chromium and vanadium in steel decreases porosity to a large extent.

So the master pattern is required to satisfy the following demands: a. Residual stresses can be reduced or eliminated either by stress-relief annealing or by slight deformation of the part. (c) Residual Stresses: Due to the rapid cooling of the molten metal residual stresses will develop in the material. These are to a great extent influenced by the quality of the master pattern prepared. The time required for relaxation can be greatly reduced by raising the temperature of the master pattern on which the molten metal is sprayed. which will considerably affect the strength of the resulting structure.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES Based on these observations a new alloy is developed which is called SPRAYDOY. (d) Quality of Master Pattern: The important considerations in rapid tooling are the achievements of good accuracy and surface finish. the residual stresses may also diminish at room temperature. Pre-processing demands: The surface finish of the master pattern will to an extent. But the second method is not suited for cases. which require high precision in terms of dimensions. Its properties are given below: Table 1: Properties of SPRAYDOY alloy. affect DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 14 . by relaxation of residual stresses. Given sufficient time.

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 15 . b. Processing demands: During spraying process the master pattern will be subjected to thermal.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES the finish of the moulds and subsequently the surface finish of the produced components. which will be then assembled are made ready for pouring. c. chemical and gravitational effects. (e) Hardness Considerations: It is found that the flow rate of atomizing gas has the largest influence on the hardness of the resulting structure. So the master pattern should be easily removable. it must be removed from the master pattern. Post-processing demands After solidification of the sprayed molten metal. It must be capable of withstanding all these.

A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES Fig 5: Effect of gas flow rate on hardness. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 16 .

Fig 7: Effect of input power on hardness. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 17 .A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES Fig 6: Effect of oxide content on hardness.

A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES (f) Young·s Modulus: The effect of flow rate on the Young·s modulus of elasticity of the resulting material obtained is shown below. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 18 . Fig 8: Effect of gas flow rate on Young·s modulus.

y Processing Speed. Coatings can be sprayed from 0.. depending on the material and spray system. Like all industrial processes. wire or powder is melted by a flame or electricity and sprayed onto the workpiece. Low Heat Input.100 in. During the actual process. i. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 19 . a high-performance material is sprayed onto a low-cost base material. Thickness Range. The following are some of the benefits of thermal spray coatings. thermal spraying has its advantages and limitations. thick.001 to 0. These have to be kept in mind in order to take proper advantage of thermal-sprayed coatings. there is no heat-affected zone. Almost any metal. The coating does not penetrate the base material. ceramic. y Reduced Cost. the spray torch makes successive passes across the workpiece to produce a coating. y y y Versatility. Coating thickness generally range from 0. or plastic can be sprayed.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES THERMAL SPRAY PROCESS In thermal spray.e. to more than 1 in. Spray rates range from 3 to 60 lb/h depending on the material and the spray system. Thermal-sprayed coatings do not impact the substrates' microstructure. In lieu of making the entire part out of an expensive material.001 in.

not metallurgical. Thermal spraying is a line-of-sight process. y y y DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 20 . The coatings have poor resistance to pinpoint loading. The coatings are considerably stronger in compression than in tension.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES Some of the limitations of thermal spray include the following: y The bond mechanism between the coating and workpiece is primarily mechanical.

A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES Fig 9: Thermal spray coating equipment. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 21 .

A carrier gas such as air or nitrogen is used to strip the molten material off the wires and to DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 22 . the flame spray process will provide the largest buildups for a given material of any of the thermal spray processes. With regard to hardfacing. high interparticle adhesive strength.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES The Thermal Spray Processes y Flame Spraying In the flame-spraying process. The fusing process ensures metallurgical bonding to the substrate. Flame spraying requires very little equipment and can be readily performed in the factory or on site. The process is fairly inexpensive and is generally used for the application of metal alloys. or propylene. propane. Low particle velocities also result in coatings that are more porous and oxidized as compared to other thermal spray coatings. such as acetylene. are fed into a torch and ignited to create a flame. A certain amount of oil is always retained within the coating and thus increases the life of the coating. and very low porosity levels. self-fluxing alloys are typically applied by flame spraying and then fused onto the component. Either powder or wire is injected into the flame where it is melted and sprayed onto the workpiece. oxygen and a fuel gas. Porosity can be advantageous in areas where oil is used as a lubricant. With relatively low particle velocities. two wires are inserted into the torch and brought into contact with each other at the nozzle. The electrical load placed on the wires causes the tips of the wires to melt when they touch. y Arc Spraying In the arc spray process. The oxides increase hardness and enhance wear resistance.

As both metals and ceramics can be effectively sprayed with this technique. y Plasma Spraying The plasma spray process is considered to be the most versatile of all the thermal spray processes. nitrogen. gases such as argon. plasma spraying lends itself to automation and to reducing process steps. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 23 . or hydrogen are passed through a torch.000°C. Low particle velocities enable high maximum coating thickness for a given material. Powder is injected into this flame. The particle velocities for plasma are higher than for those of flame and arc spraying and result in coatings that are typically denser and have a finer as-sprayed surface roughness. is that the maximum coating thickness for a given material is usually reduced. and fairly simple to maintain. melted. it's possible to produce an elongated spray pattern or to spray components with very small internal diameters. the plasma core temperatures are typically greater than 10. Recent advancements in nozzle and torch configurations are providing greater control over coating quality and the spray pattern.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES transport it to the workpiece. the atomic components recombine. An electric arc disassociates and ionizes the gases. Arc spraying is relatively inexpensive. With the plasma system. The tradeoff of increased density. ceramic coatings typically require a metallic bond coat to improve bond strength. As far as its shortcomings. arc spraying is limited to electrically conductive solid wires and cored wires. portable. For instance. however. helium. it's possible to initially apply the bond coat and then immediately follow with the ceramic material. During operation. giving off a tremendous amount of heat. Beyond the nozzle. In fact. well above the melting temperature of any material. Metals and plastics can also be sprayed with this technique. and accelerated to the workpiece. easy to learn. With the right equipment. Plasma spraying was initially developed to spray ceramics and is still the premier process for applying them.

fine as-sprayed surface finishes.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES y High-Velocity Oxyfuel The high-velocity oxyfuel (HVOF) process was invented only 20 years ago. a combination of process gases such as hydrogen. oxygen. In HVOF spraying. Due to the high kinetic energy and low thermal energy the HVOF process imparts on the spray materials. The powder is injected into the flame and also accelerated to supersonic speeds. and Inconel®. The resultant gas velocities achieve supersonic speeds. The HVOF process is the preferred technique for spraying wear-resistant carbides and is also suitable for applying wear. or kerosene are injected into the combustion chamber of the torch at high pressure and ignited. propylene. These properties have enabled HVOF sprayed coatings to become an attractive alternative to cladding and chrome plating. have very high bond strengths.and/or corrosionresistant alloys like Hastelloy. Triballoy. The results are the densest thermal spray coatings available. air. HVOF coatings are very dense with less than 1% porosity. and low oxide levels. yet it has expanded the application possibilities for thermal spraying into areas that were once unattainable. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 24 .

In this process there is no limitation to the size of mould made.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES PLASMA SPRAY PROCESS: Rapid plasma spray tooling method is one of the most modern sprays tooling technique. Fig 10: Plasma Spray Process DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 25 . It can quickly make good quality moulds from rapid prototyping or nature patterns.

Plasma spraying is widely applied in the production of high quality sprayed coatings. type of powder used. They are porosity and control of residual stresses. it is found that the problem of oxidation in this process is minimum.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES Unlike the conventional spray tooling methods. some air becomes entrained in the spray stream and oxidation of the spray material may occur. typically 200-300 m. There are mainly two technical challenges in this field. materials with high melting points can be sprayed. The coating material. Because of the high temperature and high thermal energy of the plasma jet. its position relative to the substrate. The surrounding atmosphere also cools and slows the spray stream. Vacuum plasma (VPS) or low pressure plasma spraying (LPPS) reduces these problems by spraying in vacuum or a low pressure. The quality of the final mould depends on the quality of coating. The porosity will make such materials not suitable for high-pressure applications like in stamping tools. a relatively inert spraying medium and high particle velocities. Plasma spraying produces a high quality coating by a combination of a high temperature. inert gas environment. and morphology of the substrate. is carried in an inert gas stream into the plasma jet where it is heated and propelled towards the substrate. spray angle. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 26 . high energy heat source. which acts as the spraying heat source. The plasma spraying process uses a DC electric arc to generate a stream of high temperature ionised plasma gas. However. scanning velocity of the gun. The quality of coating depends on the following important parameters: the power of the torch. in powder form.sec -1. The reason behind the porosity in plasma spray tooling is not fully understood.

Spraying of zirconia-based thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) onto turbine combustion chambers. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 27 . Spraying of molybdenum alloys onto diesel engine piston rings. 3. 2. Biocompatible hydroxyapatite coatings for prostheses.A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES Applications 1. Spraying of wear resistant alumina and chromium oxide ceramic onto printing rolls for subsequent laser and diamond engraving/etching. Spraying of seal ring grooves in the compressor area of aeroengine turbines with tungsten carbide/cobalt to resist fretting wear. 4. 5.

which are blocking the way of this technology from becoming more popular. is given. which is a relatively new technology for rapid tool making. This gives an overall idea about the advantages of the spray tooling process. which are: (1) Low cost and small lead times (2) Fine scale microstructure (3) Near Net Shape (4) Metal Matrix Composites (5) Improved Mechanical Properties (6) Flexibility (7) Manufacture of precision moulds At the same time there are some of the major disadvantages. The important disadvantages discussed here are: a. Oxidation DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 28 .A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: - In this paper an overview of the spray tooling process.

These are based on the experimental observations made during various researches. Porosity c. DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Page 29 . this field facing are: (1) To maintain the quality of the master pattern (2)To optimize the flow rate to get optimum hardness (3) To find out the optimum angle of spray required (4) To optimize the spray height (5) To optimize the gun scanning velocity (6) To optimize the power for spraying (7) To optimize the current intensity The variations of various properties of the resulting material with the process parameters are also shown. Residual stresses The important technical challenges. An introduction to the plasma arc spraying process is also given. .A STUDY ON SPRAY TOOLING PROCESSES b.

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