Infiltration is an excellent coating method for extreme wear applications with difficult geometries such as downhole drilling tools and coal fired power plants. It combines a true metallurgical bond and a dense, uniform distribution of alloy particles throughout the coating, to create excellent erosion resistance and toughness in complex geometries.
In infiltration, the pores of a wear component are filled in with a metal or alloy of a lower melting point. The component is heated in contact with the coating alloy to a temperature above the melting point of the alloy but below the melting point of the component. Through capillary action, the molten alloy is pulled into the interconnected pores of the component and ideally fills the entire pore volume.
In addition to filling in the pores, the melted filler metal forms a true metallurgical bond with the substrate. The bond formed is stronger than the bonds formed by thermal sprayed coatings. It can be applied to curved, inner, or outer surfaces simultaneously, which can reduce the cost of machining the coating surface after brazing. It also has less distortion, lower residual stresses, and lower substrate dissolution.