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7 January, 2016 - 12:47 By Kate Sweeney

Thermal spraying facility opens doors for industrial research

TWI spraying equipment

Engineering research and technology organisation TWI has commissioned a new large-scale coating facility and latest generation cold spray system.

The latest acquisitions, designed to complement TWI’s existing spraying facilities, mean TWI can conduct vital research including upscaling of technologies on behalf of its member companies in the aerospace, defence, oil and gas, and engineering sectors.

The new spraying facility, manufactured by Climavent, features a walk-in, soundproof spraying enclosure 7.5m wide, 6m deep and 4m high. The facility also features the latest extraction technology to ensure safe operation of our thermal spraying equipment, which includes high-velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF), cold spray, plasma, arc and flame spraying processes.

The bespoke setup features a partition so that it can be split into two conventionally sized spraying cells, or opened up to form one large spraying facility. It represents a permanent research and development facility for the benefit of TWI members, and will enable activities including upscaling for pre-production procedure development, demonstration and validation at technology readiness levels three to seven.

The facility houses an OTC FD-V50 robot, which will shortly be augmented with a second identical robot and 5m track system, and offline programming capabilities to manipulate specialist spraying equipment and allow the coating of components several metres in size.

The newly installed state-of-the-art Impact Innovations 5/11 Cold Spray System offers significant increases in operating temperature and pressure (N2 gas at up to 1100°C and 60 bar) over previous systems, delivering improved coating quality. 

The new facility brings all of TWI’s thermal and cold spraying equipment under one roof and enables TWI to offer a unified, seamless service to its Members.

TWI Members will be invited to an open day on March 17, when the Surface Engineering Section will showcase the new facility, spraying equipment and capabilities.

For further information about the open day, e-mail surfacing [at] twi.co.uk or contact TWI principal project leader, Melissa Riley on +44 (0)1223 899000.

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