Thermal Spray – A Versatile Tool to Enhance Performance, Cut Cost, and Create New Design Possibilities
Dr. Mark F. Smith, FASM
Materials Science & Engineering Center
Sandia National Laboratories*, Albuquerque, NM.
Thermal Spray is a generic term for a remarkably versatile family of process technologies that offer the materials engineer and component designer valuable opportunities to independently optimize surface and bulk material properties and also to create unique new materials with novel engineering properties. Although the basic technology has been in commercial use for several decades, technological and scientific advancements in recent years have dramatically improved the quality and performance of many spray deposited materials. This presentation provides and overview of traditional and emerging thermal spray process technologies, some potential advantages and limitations, and examples of how this technology has been used to solve challenging materials and design problems.
Chrome carbide wear resistant coating being plasma sprayed onto a gas turbine spring (“hula”) seal. (Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Thermal Spray, Inc.)
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Houston, TX, USA 77010-5012
Dr. Mark Smith is Deputy Director of Sandia National Laboratories’ Materials Science & Engineering Center, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This 250-person center annually conducts roughly $60 million of R&D to support various US national security programs. Departments in Dr. Smith’s current research group span a broad range of materials and process technologies including metals, ceramics, composites, and organic materials. After receiving his Ph.D. in Metallurgy from Iowa State University in 1981, Dr. Smith joined Sandia as a technical staff member in the Materials and Process Sciences Center. Since 1993, he has also served as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering at New Mexico Tech University. Before moving into management at Sandia in 1999, he was best known for his pioneering work in thermal spray process diagnostics and modeling. In 2006, Dr. Smith was inducted into the international Thermal Spray Hall of Fame. He was also the 2011 President of ASM International, a 35,000-member materials professional society with members in more than 100 countries worldwide. Dr. Smith’s father, Prof. John F. (Jack) Smith, was a former professor and department chair of the ISU metallurgy department as well as an Ames Lab researcher and group leader. Dr. Smith currently serves on the ISU MSE Department Industrial Advisory Board.