The UTSC '97 saw the release of a new wave of HVOF related technologies with the promise of high quality coatings allied to lower costs and simpler operation. This trend was seen by some experts as signifying the future of HVOF development. The emphasis was on increasing the cost effectiveness/competitiveness of HVOF coatings and making the technology more attractive to the general coatings market. One route was to use microchip technologies to control the process therefore reducing operation involvement in addition to reducing parts and system cost. Further features included using higher oxygen inlet chamber pressures for higher quality and higher deposition rates. The more compact and portable designs also allow HVOF to expand into field applications and a lower capital cost enabled non-specialists to adopt HVOF. This paper summarises the significant features of this technology wave in the light of practical operational experience and applications. One key to the success of the technology has been its correct matching to the coating type and application. Total coating cost analysis is performed to highlight its economic benefits and there is a comparison with other established forms of coating such as chrome plating, plasma and combustion spraying. This includes a description of the coating quality and wear performance.

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