Abrasion of metals occurs when friction wears, grinds, or rubs away the metal. It is an undesirable effect of the regular and normal use or exposure of a machine or part. Abrasion-resistive coatings protect metals from galling, seizing, and other types of physical damage. The key characteristic of abrasion-resistive coatings is to provide hardness and resistance to wear and abrasion.
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Frictional contact between surfaces and particles causes wear of components and leads to unnecessary downtime and maintenance costs. Over a period of time, even a softer solid material can abrade and wear highly hard alloys. As the surface becomes weak, it then strips from the parent substrate, thereby gradually reducing the thickness and structural integrity of the substrate. Though the degree of abrasion can vary depending on load, velocity, duration, and frequency, abrasion-resistive coatings are designed to extend the life of the parts under any condition.
Wear and abrasion can be minimized by utilizing polymer composite materials. These act in a sacrificial capacity, which means they wear in place of the original substrate, often lasting significantly longer than the original surface, due to their highly wear-resistant formulations. Abrasion-resistant coatings are used to improve or modify the surface hardness of a component and improve the performance and lifespan of the component. Most commonly applied abrasion-resistive coatings (plasma coatings) are tungsten carbide and ceramic coatings. Depending on the application and the part, post-coating machining is carried out. The application of a fluoropolymer with the abrasion resistive plasma coating can be used to give a hard wearing coating with release properties.
Before abrasive coatings are applied, the surface under consideration should be thoroughly cleaned so that the abrasive coat gets applied evenly. For this, abrasive blasting should be done, in most of the cases, to remove the surface rust and contaminants. Proper adhesion can be achieved by roughening the metal substrate prior to application of the non-stick coating so that mechanical bonding will assist chemical interaction of binders in a primer layer in promoting adhesion. Typical roughening includes acid-etching, sanding, grit-blasting, and brushing as well as baking a rough layer of glass, ceramic, or enamel frit onto the substrate.
Currently, wear/abrasion-resistive coatings have utilized superior wear properties of ceramic and two part epoxies to protect equipment in harsh industrial environment.
In terms of coatings type, the abrasion-resistive coatings market can be segmented into: epoxy-based coatings, epoxy- and additive-based coatings (silicon carbide, ceramic beads), epoxy-based fast-curing coatings, and UV-curable hard coats.
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In terms of production and usage, North America leads the global abrasion-resistive coatings market. The market in the region is expected to expand at a slower rate as compared to Asia Pacific. In terms of production, North America is the market leader, followed by China and India.
Major players in the abrasion-resistive coatings market include Henkel polymers, Hardide Coatings, Metal Coatings Corp., Impreglon Ltd., Praxair S.T. Technology, Inc., Jotun AS, and Sika AG.
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