Thermal spray of Zn, Zn/Al, or Al is extensively used to make anticorrosion coatings on steel structures. Twin arc spray and wire flame spray are the two most practised processes to achieve such coatings. This paper presents measurements of particle emissions generated by these two processes. Sampling and analysis of aerosols generated by both processes have been carried out inside the exhaust ductwork using various instruments: an ELPI impactor, a CNC (Condensation Nucleus Counter), a TEOM microbalance and sampling filters allowing sampling for SEM observations. Electric arc spraying produced much more fumes of ultra fine particles than flame spraying. Aluminum spraying also produces large fume quantities compared to the Zn spraying under the same conditions. The aerosol comprised submicron particles and 95% of the numerical particle size distribution was less than 100 nm. The nanometric nature of the fume particles was confirmed by observations on the SEM. The strong dilution caused by compressed air has the effect of strongly limiting particle coagulation and, in turn, the size of the agglomerated particles. Electric arc spray has taken market share versus wire flame spray for Zn, ZnAl, or Al spraying, but this study shows that it generates much more particle emissions.

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