Preventative maintenance is vital to extending the service life of just about anything we use. A little bit of time here and there can save the headaches and cost of being down for a major repair. There is one thing though that even the best maintenance plan can’t prevent.
Eventually parts do wear out, especially those in high friction environments. Not all wear is preventable but it can be slowed down. One of the most common questions we get asked over here at coatings is “Can you make it last longer?” the answer is always “yes”.
Most of the time the parts we get are used and we are restoring them back to oem specs. Some have minor damage and some have severe damage.
Occasionally though we get asked what we can do to a brand new part to lengthen its life? Once we figure out what the main cause of wear is we select a coating, or sometimes coatings, that will best hold up.
We recently did two jobs of this nature. One was a small pump, and the other were two nozzles. The pump was brand new. We determined that the back plate had to be cut so that when our coating processes were done everything would fit together and still have room for adjustment if the customer needed to do so. The first step was to coat the case, impellers, and the face of the back plate with .015” of carbide. That doesn’t sound like a lot but that coating doesn’t take much to do its job. For added protection we sprayed a thin mil of ceramic based coating from Loctite. This coating not only is durable but the slick finish also improves the efficiency of the pump.
The two nozzles were sent to us needing to be hard coated inside and out. Due to the small and complex nature of the parts we were unable to process these in house. We ended up sending them to an outside vendor to have them coated in process called “salt bath nitriding”. The parts were put into a bath of liquid salt at temperature range of 750F-1050F. The nitrogen and carbon from the liquid salt diffuse onto the surfaces of the parts. This creates a much harder wear surface on the parts. In this case the hardness was about double of that of just the bare parts.
Sometimes it’s hard to get people to understand, but spend a little now, and you can save a lot later in down time.