4 Ways To Make Your Consumables Last Longer
1. Consider the copper from which the consumable is made:
There are thousands of copper alloys that can affect the life of a consumable. Each manufacturer uses different materials and the copper can be pure copper or one of many copper/tungsten alloys. For instance, the JP5000 HVOF barrels are typically made of C145 copper (tellurium) with a Rockwell B harness of 48 and a thermal conductivity of 205.
If you want longer lasting barrels, consider chrome copper a much harder copper alloy that holds up better to the punishment of tungsten carbide powder flowing through the barrel at supersonic speeds. The downside of using chrome copper is it’s higher cost.
2. Consider the barrel finish:
The smoother the finish of the inside wall, the longer the barrel life. This is one of the most important features for a longer-life barrel. Finishes on a JP5000 barrel run from a Roughness Average (Ra) of 2 to 32. Check your barrel’s Ra finish to see how your parts measure up. Consult your supplier or manufacturer if you need help determining the Ra of your thermal spray barrels.
The barrel IDs of a JP5000 (Praxair Tafa) are mostly all copper. A Diamond Jet HVOF barrel (Sulzer Metco) is electro-plated with hard chrome. The 8830 wire-arc contact tips come in many different alloys, including copper, chrome copper and brass.
3. Consider maintenance of consumables.
JP5000 owners tell us they often clean the inside of the barrel, near the end, where powder build-up occurs. Some report adding a 20 degree divergent opening in the last half inch of the barrel. They report it does not effect equipment function and virtually eliminates powder build up at the end of the barrel.
4. Consider custom-made consumables.
If you have a special need – the barrel must last through a continuous run without change-out, or must last a certain length of time for your application – ask your consumables manufacturer about custom made consumables. They can help you develop the perfect solution for your application.