Thermal Spray Wins as a Green Technology
By Richard S. Brunhouse, Peter
Foy, and Dale R. Moody
Plasma Powders and Systems,
Inc., Marlboro, N.J.
Thermal spray is the phantom, the unknown actor, of green technology. Green technology is the application of technology to conserve the natural environment and resources. Thermal spray or metallization has been at the forefront of conservation of materials and energy since it was first developed in the early 1900s. Metallization has provided a second or “green” life to products associated with everything from aerospace to zoos. Key to this is remanufacturing or “greening” through thermal spray.
Remanufacturing has been defined as:
1. An industrial process in which worn-out products are restored to like-new condition. In contrast, a repaired product normally retains its identity, and only those parts that have failed or are badly worn are replaced or serviced.
2. The manufacturing environment where worn-out products are restored to like-new condition.
There are a number of reasons to consider remanufacturing including:
1. Reuse of the core or base material conserves natural resources.
2. A significant portion of the energy consumed to configure the original part is conserved.
3. Cycle time. For thermal spray operations, the time to remanufacture a part is significantly less than the time to order and receive a replacement part.
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Thermal Spray Wins as a Green