Thermo-abrasive blasting is a technique, which combines conventional abrasive blasting and HVAF processes to prepare surfaces prior coating. Thermo-abrasive blasting has a number of advantages over conventional abrasive blasting as the result of a higher nozzle pressure and heat, which helps to remove impurities from the surface. However, practice showed that the short life of blasting nozzles due to thermal stresses and excessive wear is the biggest drawback of this method. Therefore, the correct nozzle geometry and suitable materials are critical for an efficient operation of thermo-abrasive blasting systems. In this study, computational fluid dynamics and finite element analyses were used to obtain the temperature distribution and to evaluate thermal stresses in nozzle materials. The materials investigated include tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-6wt.% Co), hot pressed dense silicon carbide (SiC) and SiALON (Si3N4-Al2O3-AlN). The analysis and experiments showed that WC-CO nozzles produce the best overall results of thermal shock resistance and wear in thermo-abrasive blasting.

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