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Preheaters for Cold Spray Research

Tutco SureHeat designs and manufactures heaters used in cold spray research. These are preheaters raising the temperature of a gas such as nitrogen, helium or a mixture up to a target temperature under pressure. This hot gas flow converges with a solid deposition powder before racing through a nozzle at supersonic velocities.
Air heaters need to reach their target temperatures very quickly and consistently while simultaneously tolerating very high watt densities. This means getting a lot more heat energy into a smaller space.

Cold spray is a type of coating deposition that uses powdered materials including metals, ceramics and others to build up thin layers of material on a substrate. The particles are subjected to hot gas and high pressure before emerging from a cold spray nozzle.

The deposition material exits the nozzle at high velocity, hitting the intended surface with force. Kinetic energy results at the point of contact. The surfaces undergo plastic deformation as the particles collide. When a single round particle first hits, the surface will become crater-like in shape. The particle itself will simultaneously begin to flatten and spread out widening the inside of the newly created depression. This interlocking of material creates a very strong mechanical bond at the micro level.

You now have a situation where two materials are mechanically bonded but not chemically changed. Considering the relatively unchanged nature of the material and that two bonded materials could be dissimilar are advantages over competing processes that require melting at the point of contact.

Industry Brief:

  • Fast Ramp Rates
  • High Watt Densities
  • 20kW or less

These are research applications requiring high watt densities, fast ramp rates and high pressure.

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Sizing & Selection

A simple formula for sizing the heater power (kilowatts) is given by: kW = SCFM x (Delta T)/3000, where SCFM is the mass flow rate in standard cubic feet per minute, and the Delta T is given in degrees Fahrenheit across the heater.

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