Cladding - Process

CermaClad™ is a high energy density fusion cladding process for large area applications where corrosion and/or wear limit the life of metal structures. CermaClad™ technology utilizes a high intensity light source, which is effectively an artificial sun captured in a reflector to rapidly fuse metal and cermet coatings on steel pipes and tubes (both internal and external surfaces), plates, sheets, and bars. CermaClad™ offers high-speed fusion cladding that is faster, better, and cost-competitive with other processes used to clad metal surfaces with corrosion resistant alloy (CRA), wear resistant alloy, cermet, ceramic, and metal powders.

The CermaClad™ application process utilizes a similar approach to current cladding processes. The one difference is that the laser or weld cladding heads are replaced by the HDIR lamp. As with current methods, the steel surface is prepared using surface cleaning methods. Following this, CermaClad™ materials are deposited onto the substrate by means of an electrostatic spray gun. Finally, the lamp passes over the steel, thus bonding CermaClad™ to the substrate. This process can be conducted in a plant or in the field and is suitable for cladding a wide spectrum of surfaces, including bridge girders, rebar, internal and external pipe diameters, and ship decks.

The CermaClad™ allows wider and smoother tracks of cladding material (100-1200 mm instead of the 15mm wide tracks laid by laser cladding process), which eliminates the need for surface finishing and reduces pumping station requirements.

The focused arc generated by the process calibrates the heat transfer in the application process, which provides two key benefits. First, the substrate metal temperature does not exceed its melting point, leading to strength retention of the substrate metal. This benefit sets CermaClad™ apart from laser cladding which excessively heats the substrate metal. CermaClad™ will allow pipeline owners to use thinner pipes, less expensive pipes (HSLA – X80, X120) that lose their structural integrity when heated to high temperatures using current cladding methods. Secondly, the low heat input to the substrate significantly minimizes the stirring-up of the substrate, thus allowing only a thin layer of clad material to the substrate, which reduces cost by limiting the amount of cladding material and time required.

CermaClad Pipe Cladding Process

CermaClad™ - Value Proposition

Time
  • 15-100X faster than weld/laser cladding
  • Coverage of 75-580 sq.ft./hour with a single system
  • Matches line speed of steel mills , and thus avoiding any delay in the project schedule and scope
Performance
  • True metallurgical bond, >75,000 psi
  • Minimal heat input to the substrate leading to strength retention of substrate
  • Field portable system under development
Low heat input to the substrate
  • Small heat affected zone
  • Strength retention of Substrate
Cost
  • Reduced lead time leading to massive savings in the overall project costs
  • Allows application of thinner clad layer leading huge saving in material costs
  • Faster process leads to lower operating costs

 

Advantages over currently used coating/cladding processes
Process Application rate Bonding Process cost Performance
Weld overlay 10’s lbs/hr Metallurgical Very high Good
Wire spray 10’s lbs/hr Poor Intermediate Poor
Thermal spray 10’s lbs/hr Medium High Good
Laser cladding 10’s lbs/hr Metallurgical High Excellent
CermaClad™ 100’s lbs/hr Metallurgical Very Low Exceptional