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HVOF vs.

MIG
Advantages of HVOF spraying over other thermal spray processes primarily relate to improved
coating quality, such as:

Higher density (lower porosity) due to greater particle impact velocities


Better wear resistance due to harder, tougher coatings
Higher hardness due to less degradation of carbide phases
Improved corrosion protection due to less through porosity
Higher strength bond to the underlying substrate and improved cohesive strength within the
coating
Lower oxide content due to less in-flight exposure time
Retention of powder chemistry due to reduced time at temperature
Thicker coating due to less residual stresses
Smoother as-sprayed surface due to higher impact velocities and smaller powder sizes

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The disadvantages associated with HVOF spraying include:

HVOF sprayed coatings can be extremely complex, with their properties and microstructure
depending upon numerous processing variables.
Powder sizes are restricted to a range of about 5 - 60m, with a need for narrow size
distributions.
HVOF spraying requires experienced, qualified personnel to ensure safe operation and to
achieve consistent coating quality.
As with all the thermal spraying processes, particular health and safety issues should be
addressed. HVOF spraying usually needs to be undertaken in a specialised thermal spray
booth, with suitable sound attenuation and dust extraction facilities.
HVOF equipment requires more investment than other thermal spraying processes, for
example flame and arc spraying.
Manual operation of an HVOF spray gun is not recommended and automated manipulation of
the gun is usually needed.
Deposition of coatings is difficult or impossible to achieve on to internal surfaces of small
cylindrical components, or other restricted access surfaces, because HVOF spraying needs
line of sight to the surface and a spray distance of 150-300 mm.

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MIG/MAG WELDING

IG/MAG is similar to MMA in that heat for welding is produced by forming an arc between a
consumable metal electrode and the workpiece; the electrode melts to form the weld bead. The
main difference is that the metal electrode is a small diameter wire fed from a spool, and a
shielding gas is fed through the torch. As the wire is continuously fed, the manual process is
sometimes referred to as semi-automatic welding.

Metal transfer mode


The manner, or mode, in which the metal transfers from the filler wire to the weld pool largely
determines the operating features of the process. There are three principal metal transfer
modes:

Short circuiting (dip transfer)


Spray transfer
Pulsed transfer
Short-circuiting and pulsed metal transfer are used for low current operation, while spray
transfer is only used with high welding currents. In short-circuiting or 'dip' transfer, the molten
metal forming on the tip of the wire is transferred by the wire dipping into the weld pool. This is
achieved by setting a low voltage. Care in setting the voltage and the inductance in relation to
the wire feed speed is essential to minimise spatter. Inductance is used to control the surge in
current which occurs when the wire dips into the weld pool.

For spray transfer, a much higher voltage is necessary to ensure that the wire does not make
contact, i.e. short-circuit, with the weld pool. The molten metal at the tip of the wire transfers to
the weld pool in the form of a spray of small droplets (less than the diameter of the wire).
However, there is a minimum current level or threshold, below which droplets are not forcibly
projected across the arc. If an open arc technique is attempted much below the threshold
current level, the low arc forces are insufficient to prevent large droplets forming at the tip of the
wire. These droplets transfer erratically across the arc under normal gravitational force. The
pulsed mode was developed as a means of stabilising the open arc at low current levels, i.e.
below the threshold level, to avoid short-circuiting and spatter. Spray type metal transfer is
achieved by applying pulses of current, each pulse having sufficient force to detach a droplet.

Conventional MIG/MAG welding is carried out using a constant voltage power source which
provides an inherently stable 'self adjusting' arc. For pulsed welding, either a constant voltage or
constant current power source with voltage feedback is used.

The only difference between MIG and MAG is the type of shielding gas used.

MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas


MAG stands for Metal Active Gas

Typical inert gases are argon and helium. Typical active gases are mixtures of argon, carbon
dioxide and oxygen.