Abstract

Thermal spraying is a high energy-based process; as additive manufacturing and powder atomization; leading to fine particle emission. Usually starting from a micrometer size feedstock; the process characteristics as the heat source induces nanoparticle formation. But few information is found about these nanoparticles and their characteristics such as worker exposure; filtration efficiency; dustiness. This paper is to address a knowledge refresh to thermal spray community; focus on thermal spraying and to a lesser degree on powder atomization and additive manufacturing; regarding emissions due to the process. A survey has been conducted on the habits of French thermal spray companies and operators in relationship with thermal spray working conditions; personal protection; dust filtration; etc. and the results are compared to scientific literature and previous surveys. Analyses show that the subject of emissions around thermal spraying processes is still underestimated. The questions from the survey on health and safety aspects reveal a lack of information and awareness of the risks posed by the emissions of ultrafine particles generated by thermal spraying processes. Numerous studies underline that whatever the process based on plasma; flame or arc technology and whatever the nature of the material (metal; ceramic); the generation of nanoparticles is inevitable.

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