Advanced Materials & Processes

FEB 2015

Covers developments in engineering materials selection, processing, fabrication, testing/characterization, materials engineering trends, and emerging technologies, industrial and consumer applications, as well as business and management trends

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Fig. 4 — LPCS plasma plume (dummy part). A range of coating operations and system configura- tions are possible using low pressure and vacuum plasma spray. Figure 1 illustrates a vacuum plasma spray process during a batch operation where parts (ranging from IGT turbine components to titanium implants) are coated us- ing a vacuum rated turntable and robot system located in- side the chamber. With LPCS, continuous production is performed in con- trast to a batch operation. This is common in high-volume production spray of thermal barrier coatings, such as NiCrAlY for aerospace turbine engine components. Figure 3 shows a main process low pressure chamber located between two load-locks, which enable part loading and unloading for spraying coatings in the main chamber. The main process chamber is able to maintain low pressure, while parts (e.g., turbine blades) are loaded into the load-locks and pumped down to match the pressure of the process chamber for the coating operation. Two work-piece manipulators (stings) move parts into and out of the main process chamber and manipulate components to be coated in the plasma process stream. A gun drive (sting) further enables gun motion for coating all desired surfaces of a component, in addition to the two stings already mentioned. In LPCS, a higher-power iTSSe | TSS A D V A N C E D M A T E R I A L S & P R O C E S S E S | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 5 | i T S S e 9

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