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COLD SPRAY APPLICATIONS

Recent advancements in cold spray technology are dramatically expanding what you can do with thermal spray processes.  Cold spray can:


  • deposit metals on sensitive or difficult-to-weld surfaces for never before possible combinations of unique materials. 
  • cold spray can also be used to repair damaged areas of a finished part, without causing additional problems like warping, cracking, or softening of the part. 
  • cold spray deposits have properties approaching, or in some cases even exceeding the base material properties can now be achieved. 
  • this opens the door for cold spray to be used on more than just cosmetic surface restoration, but loaded areas can be repaired including rebuilding entire features on a part.


Cold spray has been applied to numerous high strength aluminum parts, but it has also been used to deposit stainless steel and other high strength steels, bronze alloys, nickel alloys, titanium, and even exotic elements like tantalum and niobium. Cold spray doesn’t fix everything, but it has the ability to solve challenges that other technologies simply can’t touch.


And just as importantly, once a cold spray process has been developed, it can be applied reliably and repeatedly for a given application.

Industries for Cold Spray

  • Mining
  • Oil & Gas
  • Automotive
  • Marine
  • Rail
  • Power Generation
  • Structural Corrosion Repair
  • Electronics
  • Heat Exchangers

And many more…

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to show most of the industrial applications that have been developed in order to protect the often-proprietary nature of the work. There are however, some examples that can be shown of repair applications that are included to the right 

Figure 1: Cast aluminum engine transmission case with two (2) large holes (0.5-in diameter [1.27 cm]) in the top side of the case. The repaired holes are shown in the bottom right, and the inside of the case showing the repair zones (bottom left).

Department of Defense Components

The technology has also been under development for the military as a method to dramatically reduce maintenance costs across the Department of Defense by repairing previously un-repairable assets, such as the KC-135 Ruddervator part shown in Figure 3.  Another example is a very large aluminum 6061 Navy valve actuator with corrosion damage and internal bore sealing surface wear, which was cold sprayed, re-machined, and returned to service with a savings of over $40,000 per part compared to a new replacement.  A collage of the part and the repair process are shown in Figure 4.  The as-sprayed 6061 coating had a tensile strength of 38 ksi [262 MPa], 3% ductility, with adhesion strengths well in excess of 10 ksi [68 MPa].

Cold Spray Rudderator Repair

Cold Spray Development

Application Development

Do you have a special application you think would be ideal for cold spray?  


Is your critical application an:

  • expensive component
  • no longer available
  • thin wall 
  • difficult to weld or impossible to clad
  • needs more strength than Plasma Spray or HVOF


Maybe you are considering:

  1. Large diesel crankshafts
  2. Piston ring grooves
  3. Shaft Repair without bending
  4. Titanium Shaft sleeves
  5. Mechanical Seals
  6. Overlays with Tantalum
  7. Sputtering targets with Platinum, Sliver, Gold
  8. Patching aircraft grade aluminium


VRC Metal Systems can develop the cold spray application for you.  VRC has the most experienced cold spray engineers and operators in the USA.  VRC Metal Systems is supported via a large number of cold spray research and development partners, they will help your application to be a success.


How it Works

We review your application,  and to discuss with you your long term needs, we will help you find the right path forward for your organization. From basic development to a licensed process, or even an ongoing service, we’ll help you the right solution.

  • Basic properties development, no specific application, no intellectual property (IP).
  • Advanced processing development with invention or IP creation
  • Full application development, no IP
  • Full application development with IP
  • In-house service of customer parts, fee basis


Developing a good cold spray repair procedure is a not a trivial task. We take into consideration a broad range of factors including loading levels, wear and corrosion, and accessibility.


First we examine basic feasibility, including likely materials and access issues (i.e. is the damaged area of the component sprayable?).


Design data is also needed at this point to establish the properties needed for the cold spray deposition. If design data is not available, the part must be reverse engineered. Next, we select an appropriate material. If no data exists for an appropriate material, then some initial feasibility is needed to see if reasonable properties are achievable. Finally, mock-ups or a first trial component are prepared and evaluated. If all tests pass, a cold spray process specification is written for the application.

Cold Spray Repair
Cold spray valve repair

Heard of cold spray? Cold spray is a technology that’s been developed for the last 20 years,  always stuck in the research laboratories, and never generating profit for anyone. 

Now you have VRC metal systems in the USA, they have a team of experts and partner companies to develop the applications for you and secure your future with nondisclosure agreements and intellectual property licenses. 

Imagine having the cold spray process of generating business for you and a cash flow stream from now and into your future. 

VRC cold spray is based in South Dakota in the United States has been developing cold spray for the United States Army and Air Force for the last 6 years.  With over 65 employees, most of them engineers, they offer great support.