Linde Gas, a North American subsidiary and affiliate of The Linde Group, and several partners have developed a high-pressure gas delivery system that allows powders to be sprayed using nitrogen at temperatures that do not melt the powder particles.

Cold spray enables manufacturers to achieve better coating results than with traditional thermal spray technologies, such as plasma or flame spraying. But cold spray has long relied on costly and scarce helium to propel the powdered coating material onto surfaces. The new high-pressure gas delivery system is capable of delivering pressures far above the 50 bar required to use nitrogen in the cold spray process.

The system has been optimized to support a new, cold spray gun technology called Kinetiks 4000, manufactured by CGT GmbH, based in Ampfing, Germany. The combination, proven in multiple customer installations around the world, delivers excellent coating results on a range of materials, says Werner Kroemmer, head of Linde’s thermal spraying R&D laboratory.

“Unlike all other thermal spray technologies, which melt the powder particles during spraying, cold spray converts the kinetic energy of solid particles to thermal energy as they hit the surface to be coated, forming a nearly impermeable bond. Cold spray is being used in industries such as aerospace, oil, gas and power, where coated materials are subject to extreme mechanical and physical demands,” Kroemmer said.

“Cold spray’s lower thermal load results in lower porosity and oxygen content, meaning the coated surface has deposition rates that can exceed 95% and is more consistent and durable than surfaces coated using traditional methods. Having fewer oxides means the surface will have significantly better electrical and thermal conductivity,” he added.

According to Linde Gas, the new technology also enables manufacturers to reduce operating costs by using powder coatings with larger particle size.

A CGT Kinetics 4000 system using Linde’s gas delivery system is operating for the first time in the U.S. at ASB Industries, in Barberton, OH, the North American distributor of the Kinetics system.

Albert Kay, president, ASB, says the cold spray technology is “helping to advance industries that need high-performance materials. Cold spray has been used to coat aluminum components that are subject to dynamically high stresses resulting from corrosion and material fatigue and which constitute a high risk potential. This coating technology creates high-performance functional surfaces and provides manufacturers with a commercially viable option to repair, rather than replace, aging or worn equipment.”

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