The Future of Solid-State Coatings
Kinetic Metallization (KM) is the core technology employed in the Inovati metal deposition processes. KM is used whenever a metallic coating or buildup is required on a metallic substrate. KM is related to other metal coating technologies as outlined in the Background section of this web site.
KM is a solid-state process that does not metallurgically alter the properties of the coatings or the substrate. Inert gas is used to spray metallic powders, which eliminates deposition induced oxide formation. In addition, KM implemented with a debris recovery system is ecologically sustainable and does not chemically degrade the environment.
KM is performed with a patented processes and apparatus developed by Inovati and protected under US and international patents and other patents pending. Unlike competing super-sonic based processes, KM is performed with a specially designed, two phase, sonic deposition nozzle that accelerates and triboelectrically charges metal particles entrained in an inert carrier gas; and a fluid dynamically coupled debris recovery nozzles that captures surface contaminants and accelerant gas for recycling and reuse.
Once accelerated to high speed and electrically charged, the particles are directed to a substrate, a mandrel, or into a mold. Subsequent high-speed collision of the metal particles causes very large strain (approximately 80% in the direction normal to impact) in the particles. This deformation results in a huge increase in particle surface area (approximately 400%), producing new surface that is oxide free. When these active surfaces come into contact, pure metallurgical bonds are formed. Metallurgical bonding is achieved exclusively through the solid-state reaction, bulk melting does not occur.
KM can be used to produce freestanding shapes of almost limitless design. This is achieved with the KM mechanism, but the thin coating is allowed to buildup through repeated passes of the application gun. The shapes are generated by manipulating the application gun with a computer controlled positioning system. First a description of the part is produced as a computer aided drafting (CAD) file, then the file converted into a stereolithographic file (G Code). This stereolithographic file is used to control the positioning system. Because KM can be employed in both additive and subtractive modes it provides for a much wider variety of parts than any other stereolithographic system preceding it.