Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has remarkable properties in the bulk state and has substantial potential for use as a protective coating on metals. However, the molecular architecture responsible for these exceptional properties also causes difficulties in the formation of coatings by flame spraying. This paper studies two UHMWPE materials with molecular weights of 2 million and 6 million. The flow of splats for each UHMWPE and blends of selected polyethylenes were characterized and a model developed for the flow of these polymers with respect to polymer composition, viscosity and thermal spray parameters. The model was applied to the polyethylene system and the experimental results show that controlling the composition and the process parameters is essential for the deposition of high-quality coatings.

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