Tin was successfully cold sprayed onto carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) in previous studies at McGill University and a “crack-filling” mechanism was described as the mechanism that allowed deposition of the metal onto the composite counterpart. By adding other metal powders (aluminum, copper, zinc), it was possible to improve the deposition efficiency (DE) of the tin on the CFRP, as well as improve the electrical conductivity of the coating (notably with copper). While the effect of mixing powders with tin, and more notably the effect of the secondary component (SC) properties on the deposition improvement, were more thoroughly addressed in following studies, the question of the properties of these coatings remained. With the perspective of providing a metallic coating to a relatively poorly conductive composite substrate, this study aims to explore the electrical conductivity and the coating strength of cold sprayed tin with other SCs onto CFRPs. An extensive study on fractured surfaces highlighted the importance of the CFRP surface finish, and it was observed that the coating strengths improved with decreasing DE of pure tin.

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