A "major breakthrough" in anilox coating technology is claimed by The Harper Corp of America.
Explains vp of manufacturing operations Art Ehrenberg: “We have been following several developments over the past nine years, designed to increase ceramic spray rates and deposit efficiencies, while at the same time offering flexibility with a single thermal spray device for coating applications that currently require multiple systems. After extensive trials with all commercially available systems, we teamed up with plasma physicist Dr Lucian B Delcea in an effort to adapt his new plasma technology for application to anilox rolls prior to laser engraving.
“This resulted in a venture with Progressive Technologies, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The joint r&d efforts of Dr Delcea and Progressive have proven to be one of phenomenal proportions in the advancement of thermal spray technology.”
Harper’s Echoplasma II anilox thermal spray system is said to be capable of spraying ceramic coatings at five times traditional spray rates, when spray rates and deposit efficiencies are factored together. Deposit efficiencies are an important factor affecting both productivity and operating costs.
The new system is claimed to achieve a deposit efficiency of 65 per cent on current ceramics, compared to the industry standard of 40 per cent. Harper says comparable commercial systems can approximate the spray rates, but cannot match the deposit efficiencies, nor the reduced substrate temperatures – which do not require auxiliary cooling.
The way this patented plasma is formed, coupled with interchangeable radial and axial feeding capabilities, is said to represent a major step forward in thermal spray technology. Combined with new computer automation software, the result is “a system Unparalled in the thermal spray community”, Harper claims.
“Not only are cycle times mind boggling, but we have also managed to increase the quality of our coatings in respect to hardness, particle cohesion and porosity,” adds Art Ehrenberg. “This combination will offer the anilox roll market a coating system like none other before. It is so far advanced, we feel the technology window is represented in years. We have perfected our standard coatings and are now introducing new coatings engineering.”