Thermal spraying has been used to protect many steel structures from aqueous corrosion using Zinc and Aluminium, and to some extent their alloy coatings to provide galvanic protection. The lifetimes of the coatings can approach 50 years even when exposed in severe marine environments. Zinc coatings work by continuously sacrificing themselves and slowly dissipating over time. Aluminium coatings passivate more readily and form a barrier layer, the passivity makes them less able to protect damaged areas and to self heal. A new ternary coating system involving Aluminium, Zinc and Magnesium has been shown to be capable of providing both a passive barrier layer as well as being able to give galvanically active protection. Salt spray tests have shown that the resistance to red rust of these new coatings increases by 300% over similar thicknesses of the separate metal coatings. Processing by arcspray is straightforward and both adhesion and deposition efficiency are better than where Zinc is sprayed alone.

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