May 5, 2021

Cold Gas Dynamic Spray Impact: Metallic Bonding PreRequisites and Experimental Particle In-Flight Temperature Measurements

The impact phenomena of high velocity micron-size particles, although commonly considered and described as detrimental in numerous engineering applications, can be used in a beneficial way if properly understood and controlled. The Cold Gas Dynamic Spray (CGDS) process, known as a surface modification, repair and additive manufacturing process, relies on such high velocity impacts. In the process, solid particles are accelerated by a supersonic gas flow to velocities up to 1200 m/s and are simultaneously heated to temperatures lower than their melting point. When propelled under proper velocity and temperature, the particles can bond onto a target surface. This bonding is caused by the resulting interfacial deformation processes occurring at the contact interface. Hence, the process relies heavily on the gas/particle and particle/substrate interactions. Although numerous experimental and/or numerical studies have been performed to describe the phenomena occurring during particle flight and impact in the CGDS process, numerous phenomena remain poorly understood. First, the effect of substrate surface topographical condition on the particle deformation and ability to successfully adhere, i.e. atomically and/or mechanically, has not been thoroughly investigated such that its influence is not well understood. Another aspect of the process that is generating the largest gap between experimental and numerical studies in the field is the lack of particle in-flight temperature measurements. Obtaining such data has proven to be technically difficult. The challenges stem from the short particle flight time, low particle temperature and small particle size preventing the use of established thermal spray pyrometry equipment. Relatedly, lack of such measurements precludes a proper experimental study of the impact related phenomena at the particle/substrate interface. As a result, the effect of particle size dependent temperature on overall coating properties and atomic bonding relies currently on estimates. Finally, the effect of particle impact characteristics on interfacial phenomena, i.e. grain size and geometry, velocity/temperature, and oxide scale thickness, on adhesion and deformation upon single particle collision has also been scarcely studied for soft particle depositions on hard substrate. Hence, the current research work aims at studying fundamental aspects of particle/gas heat transfer and particle/substrate impact features in goals to improve the understanding of the CGDS process. Different surface preparation methods will be used to create various surface roughness and topographical features, to provide a clear understanding of the target surface state influence on coating formation and adhesion. Additionally, new equipment relying on novel technology, i.e. high-speed IR camera, will be utilized to obtain particle in-flight temperature readings with sequence recordings. Subsequently, the experimental particle in-flight temperature readings will be used to develop a computational fluid dynamics model in goals to validate currently used Nusselt number correlations and heat transfer equations. The particle size-dependent temperature effect on the particle’s elastic and plastic response to its impact with a targeted surface and its ability to successfully bond and form a coating will be studied experimentally. A thorough CFD numerical work, based on experimental findings, will be included to provide full impact characteristics (velocity, temperature, size and trajectory) of successfully deposited particles. Finally, the numerical results will be utilized in the ensuing study to correlate single particle deformation, adhesion and interfacial features to impact characteristics. A finite element model will be included to investigate the effect of particle size dependent temperature on single particle interfacial pressure, temperature and bonding ability.

Link to publication

Originally submitted to the University of Ottawa
By Aleksandra Nastic