Plasmas and Their Applications

April 27, 2021 7:05 pm

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Plasma spray guns are used to coat various metals with a protective coating. It is a spray-foam gun that makes use of high-energy beams of plasma. Thermonuclear reactions produce heat energy, resulting in releasing electrons and atoms from a coated metal. These atoms are carried away and attach themselves to the protective coating, thereby protecting it from damage. Thus, when multiple metal alloys or pieces with similar physical properties are used in a one-shot gun, the entire process becomes automatic, with only a single pass through the gun spraying the protective coating on the metal piece.

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Plasmas are fast firing, with velocities of more than 4000 ft/sec. Although they have relatively low over-speed velocities, their high energy levels mean that continuous firing occurs for hours, even days, without causing overheating or mechanical damage to the parts during the coating process. The only drawback to their high firing rate and energy requirements is that they can only be used in large size projects or in vacuum environments.

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In spite of this high energy consumption, the plasmas used in this gun style are lightweight, portable, reusable, and relatively inexpensive. There is an active cooling system that uses a liquid foam to cool down the plasma spray chambers while spraying. This cooling system also ensures that the guns do not become too hot while spraying. Plasma guns can be mounted on casings, pedestals, or attached to workbenches. They can also be mounted on railings in order to attain flexibility.