Air Products' new Thermal Spray Cooling Technology, which uses cryogenic nitrogen vapour to maintain part temperature during thermal spray coating applications, is reportedly enabling Delta Air Lines Inc. to apply quality coatings on critical aircraft parts more effectively and economically than with traditional methods.

The success of this technological collaboration assisted Air Products in winning a contract to supply Delta's Technical Operations Facility in Atlanta, Ga. with all of its bulk nitrogen, argon, oxygen and hydrogen requirements.

Air Products' Thermal Spray Cooling Technology is an automated cryogenic gas cooling system that is being used by Delta’s HVOF (high velocity oxygen fuel) thermal spray department to coat critical wear parts, such as rotating engine parts and landing gear. By eliminating the need for inter-pass cooling breaks, the Air Products cooling system has enabled Delta to reduce the spray-coating time by as much as 50%, while also reducing the amount of feed powder sprayed and the volume of gases consumed in the coating of its landing gear axles.

“Delta gave us parameters on how they wanted the machine to think and act, and we designed a thermal spray cooling system to meet their specifications,” said Matt Thayer, Senior Principal Engineer, Commercial Technology at Air Products.

Air Products’ US patent-pending cooling technology also offers environmental and product quality improvements. The technology has enabled a tungsten carbide cobalt coating to be more cost-effectively substituted for traditional chrome plating, which can generate a potential carcinogen at high temperatures.

Thayer commented, “This is another great example of what Air Products does best. We listen carefully to our customers so we can understand their challenges and needs, and then work closely with them to find a solution. We look forward to working with Delta on this emerging technology by continuing to improve it and expand its use within their facility.”