The thermal spray industry requires universal and economical HVOF systems for the production of high-quality coatings with high deposition efficiencies. In the last years classic HVOF guns have been adapted insufficiently to these requirements. This paper shows how modern numeric simulation and new inventions in gas safety engineering enable the development of a spray system for powder and wire feedstock that is optimized especially for the needs of the market. The new IBEDA TopGunAirJet is equipped with an air-cooled ‘de Laval’-like nozzle. The optimized expansion of the gas leads to high gas and particle velocities as well as to moderate flame and particle temperatures. Advantages of the TopGunAirJet are the achievable high coating quality, the low energy consumption (propane, ethene), the utilization of powder or wire and the efficient air cooling of the thermally loaded nozzle parts. Additionally, as a result of the axial powder injection, the free jet divergence and the nozzle wear are minimized. By varying the powder gas flow, the dwell time of the particles inside the flame can be influenced in order to avoid fusing of hard phases. As an example, WC-Co 88-12 coatings are presented and compared to coatings sprayed with a standard HVOF system of the 3rd generation. Different 316L coatings are produced and tested in comparison to standard HVCW coatings to show the workability of solid and cored wires. Finally, extensive LDA measurements are used for in-flight particle analysis, and investigations concerning the achievable deposition efficiencies are carried out.

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