Do you think your thermal spray consumables SHOULD or COULD last longer?
Consider first the copper that the thermal spray consumables are made from.
There are thousands of copper alloys that can affect the life of a thermal spray consumable. The copper can be pure copper or a copper/tungsten alloy.
Each manufacture of consumables chooses the type of copper they wish to use. 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 wanted to make the barrel last longer, you could make it out of chrome copper. Chrome Copper has a Rockwell B harness of 70 and a thermal conductivity of 187. This is a much harder copper alloy and would hold up better to the tungsten carbide powder flowing through the ID at supersonic speeds. The downside of using chrome copper is it’s much more expensive.
Consider the ID finish.
The smoother the finish of the ID, 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 Ra (roughness average) of 2 to 32. Check your barrels Ra finish and see what your barrel finish measures.
JP5000 barrel ID’s are mostly all copper. A Diamond Jet HVOF barrel is electro plated with hard chrome. The JP5000 is a Praxair Tafa product. The Diamond Jet is a Sulzer Metco product.
The 8830 wire arc contact tips come in many different alloys, copper, chrome copper and brass.
Consider maintenance of the consumable.
Many of the JP5000 owners tell us they often clean the ID of the barrel after powder build up on the end. Some have even put a 20 degree divergent opening in the last half inch of the barrel ID. They state it makes no difference in the function but have no powder build up on the end of the barrel.
Consider custom made consumables.
Ask your consumables manufacture about custom made consumables that will offer you the best value for the application. If you have special needs, for instance, the barrel must last a certain amount of time so as not to have to change it out on a continuous run.