Thermal Coating Systems

Video by Marc Willenberg

Work area

The global demand for even more productive and efficient highly complex technical systems is leading to a steady increase in the requirements to be met by materials and components. The manufacturing technology of thermal spraying offers unrivaled flexibility and scalability in the field of coating processes and is therefore of essential importance in meeting these needs. In addition to classic applications for aviation or wear protection, this process group is also becoming a focal point in other areas of industry such as shipbuilding and steel construction, onshore and offshore wind energy, vehicle construction, agriculture and sustainable concepts.

© Holger Martens

In order to meet the high demands of our customers in these areas, the Thermal Coating Systems unit not only operates high-quality laboratory equipment but also a fully PLC-integrated coating center (twin wire arc wire spraying, atmospheric plasma spraying, powder flame spraying processes) for the production of thermally sprayed coatings in accordance with the latest quality standards and the associated integrated process monitoring. The expertise built up over many years from process modifications, coating analytics and their interactions contribute to the tailored production and development of complex coating systems. The focus lies on the coherent consideration of materialographic, mechanical-technological, process engineering and quality assurance aspects of thermal spraying as a system, which serves as a guideline for daily work.

Project overview

Reduction of methane emissions

Development of circular carbon removal projects using optimized Kontiki-Kilns by innovative coating technology (Kiln Coatings)

The upcoming biochar sector enables agricultural operations to absorb large amounts of CO₂ and has enormous potential to supply Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) certificates. Waste residues are one of the most widely available input materials for producing biochar.

By using thermal spray, methane emissions during the pyrolysis process of biochar can be reduced. For this purpose, coatings with catalytic properties are being developed to convert the methane into less harmful by-products. These coatings are designed to be applied cost-effectively to key components of the pyrolysis process, such as reactors, kilns and chambers.

Read more here!

New tank concepts for liquid hydrogen

Increasing the storage and transport efficiency for liquid hydrogen in steel fibre composite tanks through thermally sprayed TBC layers

There is currently little experience with the transport of large quantities of liquid hydrogen (LH2) due to the developing market. Tank designs relate to standard onshore storage and transport applications with vacuum-insulated, double-walled austenitic stainless steel structures, which have comparatively high thermal diffusivity and conductivity and increased weight. This currently reduces efficiency due to increased boil-off and unfavourable gravimetric storage density.

New tank concepts are therefore necessary for the maritime production and transport of LH2. Innovative technical approaches from space travel (fibre windings) and for high-temperature applications (thermal barrier coatings "TBC") are being taken up and combined.

Read more here!

Process technology

GTV high-performance coating center:

  • PLC-integrated and controllable
  • Recording, monitoring and documentation of process parameters
  • Manipulation via six-axis robot (torch) and rotary-tilt-positioner (component)
    • Various component holders up to 300 kg
  • Processes and torch technologies:
    • Twin Wire Arc Spray (AS): Shark 400, Shark 400 HV
    • Atmospheric plasma spraying (APS): Delta
    • Powder Flame Spray (PFS): 6PII
  • Possible variation of process gas for twin wire arc spray
  • NIR-Sensor for particle diagnostics
  • System for in-line coating thickness measurement

Oerlikon Metco Smart Arc twin arc wire spray system:

  • Complete mobile system with PPG torch technology

Pressure blasting system MHG SMG 100:

  • Modern pressure blasting system for component pre- and post-treatment

Laboratory equipment

Coating morphology and surface analytics:

  • Optical light microscope Zeiss DM6000
  • Scanning electron microscope JEOL JSM-IT100 including secondary electrons and backscatter detector as well as low vacuum mode for less conductive materials
  • 3D-Profilometer Keyence VR6000 e.g. for roughness measurements

Chemical analyses:

  • Energy dispersive X-ray analysis Detector type JEOL SD25
  • Optical spark emission spectrometry Spectromaxx 
  • Carrier gas hot extraction system Bruker Galileo G8 for measurements of O, N, H

Mechanical-technological properties:

  • Hardness tester Innovatest Falcon 500
  • Universal mechanical tester / nanoindenter Zwick-Roell ZHN for nanohardness / Young's modulus determination
  • Various types of testing machines for static and dynamic tests, e.g. adhesive tensile strength, tubular coating tensile strength, bending test, fatigue strength
  • Cold gas system Isotherm TG-L63/100 for cryogenic test regimes
  • Test rig for abrasive wear according to ASTM G65

Functional Coating Properties:

  • Resistivity meters Mitsubishi Chemical Analytech Hiresta-UX (range 103 bis 1015 Ω) and Loresta-GX (range 10-4 bis 107 Ω)
  • Residual stress measuring system Stresstech Prism using the drill hole method and ESPI
  • passive and active thermography technology Infratec VarioCAM hr 675s
  • Measuring system Kern EMB-2000-2V Laboratory balance incl. density set for determining the true density