There are many benefits in thermal spray coating for windmills as opposed to the earlier practice of hot dip galvanising and then painting, Ankur Modi (Executive Director), Metallizing Equipment Company informs R Srinivasan.Over a period of time, wind mills may fall prone to corrosion. Hot dip galvanising and then painting are older practices used by wind mill manufacturers to combat it, but due to process limitation of hot dip galvanising and paint peeling off during assembling, some organisations look for other means. So we spoke to Ankur Modi of Metallizing Equipment Company, which is a leading manufacturer of thermal spray coating equipment in India since 1967, to learn more about the process. Excerpts of the interview:How many years does this coating last as against hot dip galvanising and then painting? Research done by the Federal Highway Administration has shown that anti-corrosive thermal spray coating may last 60 years in extreme marine conditions. Only painting the surface is not enough as after a limited period of time it may flake off. But if painting follows thermal spray coating, the life of the component may increase to a great extent because the textured surface after thermal spray coating allows the paint, which is applied later, to bond better.What are the various steps involved in the entire process (up to surface preparation), how many days does it take and what are its drawbacks? This process involves a limited number of steps and the only requirement is that prior to applying the coating, the surface should be dried and cleaned, resulting in good bonding strength. Usually grit or abrasive blasting is done to make the surface rougher, since such a surface interlocks the thermal spray coating and helps achieve good bond strength. This coating does not require any curing time so the coating can be followed immediately after blasting and the coated component can be used just after coating work has been completed. People in various industries are bound to conventional processes as far as surface engineering is concerned. So the biggest challenge for thermal spray coating is to increase awareness and make consumers understand the process and its benefits as compared to conventional processes. The biggest drawback of this process is that this coating is not suitable where impact is higher, in which case the coating may peel out due to strokes.Benefits of spray coatings for wind mills
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