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GE's Cold Spray Process Repairs Worn Parts

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Tool_maker
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Platinum
Re: Cold spray
Tool_maker   12/16/2013 12:36:48 PM
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@Plantex: Although I have no experience with this process, I would assume it is similar to the old process of spray on Metallizing, in which you build up a surplus and then grind or machine to finish requirements. This was commonly done to auto crankshafts back in the sixties. The real advantage here is that the process is cold so you reduce the possibilties of distortion in adjoining features. I am curious what sort of prep is required prior to application and how overspray is handled.

bobjengr
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Platinum
GE'S COLD SPRAY
bobjengr   12/14/2013 9:51:29 AM
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Excellent post Cabe.  I am definitely not familiar with this process so I really appreciate the "heads up".  I applaud any technology which makes "on-site" field repairs possible.  As a result of your article, I will put this technology on my list on items to follow.  I retired from GE and have "spies" still at the R&D group so maybe I can get additional information through that source.  Again, thank you.

 

CarlTK
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Iron
"Temperature" in 3-D, 1-D
CarlTK   12/13/2013 2:19:12 PM
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Plasma spray was expensive in the '70s. Building up shaft cost more than a new one.  "Temperature" is 3-D Kinetic Energy.  This sounds like semiconductor industry "ion implantation".  Velocity is 1-Dimensional "Temp" so it's welding/embedding atoms.

bob from maine
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Platinum
Re: So it could repair worn shafts
bob from maine   12/13/2013 10:22:31 AM
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The old Wright whirlwind and cyclone radial engines used (I think) in the DC3 era airplanes had one single crank-pin so all 1800 or so ponies had to release their power through that one crankshaft. They were very difficult to make and when worn-out were routinely thrown away - until the 60's or 70's when a process was developed to allow metal to be weld-deposited onto the worn area. Subsequent heat treatment and metalurgical analysis has kept these old engines air-worthy and many are flying today in remote areas. Imagine the number of other critical components that could be repaired and/or improved using this cold-spray process. Great article.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Wow
William K.   12/13/2013 10:15:21 AM
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Cadman, this process is probably a lot more expensive and complex than most welding projects, so I doubt very much that any welders will be displaced. Besides that, who would be better qualified to apply this technique than skilled welders?

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Wow
William K.   12/13/2013 10:13:10 AM
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Yes, this is an interesting article. But it leaves out a bit of information, such as just how fast is that stream of particles moving, and how big is the stream. Many years back I had acquired a device that was claimed to be able to build up metal surfaces by spraying metal particles entrained in an inert gas stream and heated by an electric arc. I sold it at a profit and have no idea how well it worked. But that was clearly a high temperature process, based on the plasma heating part. 

I am aware that explosive bonding of metals has been around for quite a few years, but that process involves both high velocities and quite a bit of force. So I am wondering if we coulkd get a few more details about the process.

And I think that there is probably a safety concern, since a cloud of the metal particles that don't bond must certainly be something to avoid breathing. Even the non-toxic metals would not be good to inhale. Sort of like the hazards associated with other nanoparticles, I would suspect.

Planetx
User Rank
Iron
Cold spray
Planetx   12/13/2013 10:06:06 AM
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Interesting idea, was aware of Plasma spray to add coatings but not cold spray. 

I am also curious about the bond strength (in comparison to welding processes).  Deposition rates and cost of materials is a factor as well as the cost of the equipment (and required surface prep before coating).

Not being a naysayer, but I wonder also about the precision of application (thickness, overspray etc.).

Fred

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Wow
Cadman-LT   12/13/2013 3:25:39 AM
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I just wonder what the limitations are. Small cracks, big cracks? We used to repair robotic welding arms. They were not an easy fix. If this makes it easy...great. Still might put some welders out of work...cause that was the only reason we had one.

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Wow
Cadman-LT   12/13/2013 3:20:31 AM
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Cabe great article. I can see this being used "in the field". Saving alot of money in the process. Probably put a lot of welders out of work. Yeah progress! lol

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Extension of useful life
Greg M. Jung   12/12/2013 10:55:08 PM
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Great article and was not aware of this process.  Looks as if this could really extend the useful life of a product for a small economic cost.

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