November 29, 2021
Safety in Thermal Spraying
The notion of safety is especially important in thermal spray. With any industrial process, the operators should be aware of the hazards associated with the task and take appropriate precautions to ensure safe operation. Thermal spray is not a dangerous process if safety protocols are observed. Thermal spray involves many different processes and some of the hazards associated with it can be sorted into the following categories: noise, heat, light, dust, electricity, and compressed gas.
Arc and plasma spraying can generate noise between 104 – 134 db (A) due to the compressed gases used in the process. Wearing appropriate ear protection is necessary to avoid permanent hearing damage. Certain processes also involve use of flammable gases like propane oxygen and acetylene. It is of immense importance that safe handling of compressed gases be employed at all times to prevent accidents. Processes such as arc and plasma spraying emit a significant amount of UV and IR radiation. Exposure to such light can cause damage to delicate body tissue such as sun burn, reduction of elasticity in the skin and early aging. To protect against this, spray booth windows should install UV absorbent dark glass and any personnel that enters the booth must wear protective glasses and gloves. As thermal spray uses powdered material as feedstock, it is extremely important to wear the appropriate face masks to avoid inhaling powdered metal particles. The particles can be as small as a few micrometers which can easily make their way into the breathing tract and deposit. This can lead to significant health risks over time.
At Tecnar, we treat safety as priority. We make it a point during our trainings with personnel and clients to take the time to address hazards associated with our equipment and the appropriate measures required to eradicate these hazards. We maintain complete documentation and provide additional on-going support to ensure that the client employs safe practices while using our sensors. The safety of our employees and clients is of utmost importance to us. The ASM International Thermal Spray Society is a great resource for information regarding risk mitigation in thermal spray processes. Here is wishing a safe working environment to all!