When it comes to processes for surface finishing, one many technicians default to using is thermal spray or plasma metallizing. While this method has become synonymous with tough exterior coatings and the resizing of internal and external diameters, technicians may not realize that a better surface finishing technique may be available. Take a look at the advantages that selective or brush plating has over thermal spray.

Issue SIFCO Process® Flame Spray
Adhesion An atomic bond provides excellent adhesion on all metals commonly used in industry today. Adhesion is not compromised by severe, cyclical temperature fluctuations or by sharp, direct impact. Tests run in accordance with ASTM C633-79 entitled “Standard Test Method for Adhesion or Cohesive Strength of Flame-Sprayed Coating” revealed that two commonly used nickel deposits had a bond strength that exceeded the strength of the cement, which failed at roughly 11,000 psi. Flame spray is a mechanical bond in which molten, semi-molten or solid particles are deposited on a substrate to form a coating. The particles travel at high velocity causing them to flatten on impact.
Ability to control deposit thickness Ampere-hour values to obtain a desired thickness are calculated prior to plating any part. Deposit thicknesses are accurately controlled, allowing parts to be plated to size. Parts that are built up with flame spray must be machined to a finish dimension.
Flexibility Selective plating can be used on a wide variety of shapes and sizes of parts; including holes as small as 1/4” in diameter. Although flame spray can be used to build up larger ID’s , it is typically limited to OD applications.
Deposition Rate SIFCO ASC’s solutions are deposited at an average rate of 0.035” / hour. High buildups are rapdily obtained.
Risk of Heat Distortion None. Selective plating is carried out at room temperature. Due to the heat involved in the process, flame spray poses a risk of distorting some components.
Roughing Up the Surface Not required. Grit blasting typically required.
Portability The SIFCO Process® is a portable plating process that can be used in the shop or on-site. Typically limited to the shop.
Safety Water based solutions that are mild acids or alkalines pose minimal risk to the operator. Toxic fumes require superior ventilation for operator safety. Sound levels associated with thermal spray require additional personal protective equipment.

For questions about what method is right for you, contact us at info@sifcoasc.com or 800-765-4131.