In our Center for Surface Solutions we have successfully tested and started trial operation of the new additive technology “Cold Spray”.
This unique thermal spraying technology enables the application of functional layers and simultaneous spraying/printing of complex parts of any thickness, in principle very similar to 3D printers. There are only a few R&D teams in the world dedicated to the development of industrial Cold Spray applications. Our new Cold Spray working station expands our center’s existing portfolio of technologies, which include cascade plasma spraying, high-speed spraying with HVOF (High Velocity Oxygen Fuel) technology, and electric arc and flame spraying. Together with our expanding research team, this elevates us to one of the most versatile thermal spraying R&D facilities in Europe in this extremely fast-growing area of material research.
“We have come a long way in the last five years with the thermal spraying team. From the construction and commissioning of our new Center for Surface Solutions, to the significant expansion of the research team and development of dozens of applications that are successfully finding commercial use across various industries. We originally planned to acquire Cold Spray technology in 2023, but thanks to the excellent results and enthusiasm of the whole team, we have managed to accelerate the process and we are now able to create the first samples in-house. We have been purposefully building our Cold Spray competence since 2018, for example in cooperation with the nuclear division of CEZ. The goal is to develop unique, functional and commercially viable coatings that improve corrosion and erosion resistance in the most exposed technical infrastructure“, Stanislav Martínek, Managing Director, Research and Testing Institute in Pilsen.
General introduction to Cold Spray:
Cold Spray is the most advanced additive technology in the field of thermal spraying. Nitrogen or helium gases are most commonly used as the process gas, which is fed into the spraying device at pressures up to 60 bar (870 psi) and heated to a maximum temperature of 1100 °C (2012 °F).
Compared to conventional hot spray processes, Cold Spray offers significant advantages. There is no melting or partial melting of the sprayed material during the process, minimizing the thermal effect on the deposited layer and the coated material. The process also allows the formation of layers with almost no thickness limitation. Compared to conventional AM technologies, the Cold Spray process is unrestricted in the dimensions of the parts it is able to “print”.