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Surface Treatments

Component or assembly often failures, which are caused by excessive wear, corrosion, high temperatures, or a combination thereof. When properly selected and applied, thermally sprayed coatings, can help to minimize or even avert common parts failure.

The processes of surface treatments, more formally surface engineering, tailor the surfaces of engineering materials to:

  • Control friction and wear,
  • Improve corrosion resistance,
  • Change physical property, e.g., conductivity, resistivity, and reflection,
  • Alter dimension,
  • Vary appearance, e.g., colour and roughness,
  • Reduce cost.

Ultimately, the functions and service of these treatments live of the materials can be improved.

Common surface treatments can be divided into two major categories:

  • Treatments that cover the surfaces and
  • Treatments that alter the surfaces.

Treatments Covering Surfaces

  • Inorganic Coatings: The inorganic coatings perform electroplatings, autocatalytic platings (electroless platings), conversion coatings, thermal sprayings, hot dippings, hardfacings, furnace fusings, or coat thin films, glass, ceramics on the surfaces of the materials.
  • Organic Coatings: The organic coatings apply paints, cements, laminates, fused powders, lubricants, or floor toppings on the surfaces of materials.

Treatments Altering Surfaces

  • Hardenings: Selective hardenings can be done by flame, induction, laser or electron beam.
  • High Energy Treatments: Common high energy treatments include ion implantation, laser glazing/fusion, and electron beam treatment.
  • Thin Diffusion Treatments: Thin diffusion processes include Ferritic-nitrocarb, boronizing, and other high temperature reaction processes, e.g. TiC, VC.
  • Heavy Diffusion Treatments: Heavy diffusion processes include nitriding, carburizing, and carbonitriding.
  • Special Treatments: Some special treatments, such as cryo, magnetic, and sonic treatments, affect not only the surfaces but also the bulk materials.