Particle size reduction machinery components are often subjected to severe wear that can lead to pitting, galling, corrosion, and surface fatigue. While typically made from steel or other metal alloys that have been hardened, these critical parts must withstand demanding physical environments, including repetitive movements, high-velocity collisions, extreme temperatures, repetitive friction, chemicals, demanding loads, and other factors present in industrial applications.
Component manufacturers and engineers who help design industrial equipment can apply various types of surface coatings to limit the damage resulting from heavy wear and tear. This ensures that machinery will work better when exposed to high friction levels and generally makes machinery more durable. Such specialized coatings allow critical parts to last longer, reducing unplanned downtime and maintenance costs while improving performance and throughput.
Types of Coatings for Particle Reduction Equipment
Coatings that help safeguard industrial equipment increase their longevity considerably. These finishes are used for various applications in multiple sectors, including milling of grains, chemical processing, mining, recycling, food production, and other industries that require material to be reduced during processing.
Coatings used for parts in industrial particle reduction equipment include:
- Tungsten Carbide Coating: Used in applications when protection is needed against wear, abrasion, and galling.
- Chrome: This coating is used in applications where protection is needed against wear and abrasion but with a greater operating temperature range.
- Nedox: This electroless nickel coating is used in applications to enhance the performance of less durable materials against corrosion resistance and galling.
- Plasmadize: Used in applications where protection is needed against wear and abrasion, but it is undesirable to alter surface properties of the base material.
- Lectroflour: This is a polymer-based coating used in applications where protection is needed against severe corrosion. This coating also has a low coefficient of friction, which helps release the material and prevent it from building up, ideal for food processing equipment (FDA approved).
Finding the best coating for a specific purpose involves a great deal of consideration to ensure machinery is properly protected. Each material offers its advantages and disadvantages. As there are numerous options for coating components, consulting an expert will help when choosing which material to use for protecting parts.
10 Advantages Specialized Coatings Provide
Components in size reduction equipment that utilize specialty coatings offer many advantages over raw parts without them.
Extends Equipment Life Cycle
Replacing production machinery is costly. Coatings help extend the life of components, which extends the life cycle of valuable equipment on production lines. This translates to considerable cost savings, allowing factories to squeeze more life out of older equipment.
Increases Performance & Productivity
Using components with specialized finishes to resist wear and tear permits increases its utilization. Keeping equipment running increases throughput and reduces the costs associated with downtime, contributing to profitability.
Insulates Against Electricity
Coated parts prevent static electricity from building up, preventing arcing and materials clinging to the substrate. This property offers advantages for equipment used in the printing industry and probes used to fill bottles with beverages.
Makes Equipment Easier to Keep Clean
Keeping equipment clean is a particularly important advantage. Specialty coatings reduce the time and cost to clean equipment by making dirt and grime easier to remove and by preventing cleaning agents from attacking the base metals they protect.
Offers Non-Sticking Properties
Many specialized coatings have high lubricity and a reduced coefficient of friction that prevents materials from sticking to them. This reduces waste, minimizes overheads, prolongs a part’s life, and again makes cleaning much easier, all of which are useful for the food and medical industries.
Corrosive environments are a significant contributor to machinery part failure. Whether due to chemical attack or salinity, corrosion can magnify the degradation of a part or component. Coatings can reduce or prevent corrosion, extending the life of the part and reducing unexpected downtime.
Protects Against Heat & Cold
Extreme high and low temperatures can be hard on industrial equipment. Some coatings protect against deterioration due to temperature variations, thermal shock, and other issues related to high and low-temperature environments.
Provides Flexibility in Production
Coatings that make parts more durable allow production lines to be more flexible in their output capacity and the hours the machinery can operate. This complements maintenance of equipment, as coated components last longer and is less likely to require repair.
Certain coatings can help reduce the friction between particles and components. Low friction coatings improve the flow of bulk solids in chutes and hoppers while other types can reduce the forces required for two parts or components to move against one another, such as actuator screws and control valves. Reduced friction between components lessens the wear between them and the energy required to maintain the applied forces involved.
Also referred to as hydrophobic properties, hard metals and coatings prevent parts from absorbing water. This thwarts abrasion of metal surfaces due to water, allows machinery to be cleaned more easily, and makes the equipment more durable.