Surface World Handbook 2017 - Page 195

which significantly reduces labour costs for the rebuild as well as the turnaround time. Furthermore, the number of piston and ring sizes maintained in inventory is reduced and expensive cylinder cases will never be scrapped from reaching the bore limit. The cost of eliminating each of these stages therefore presents a wealth of cost benefits throughout the chain. Using wear-resistant and lubricating coatings in the powertrain and moving mechanisms also delivers cost benefits. These coatings improve component reliability, enabling longer warranties and extended service periods. As a result, they reduce running costs and total cost of ownership. Aerospace industry In the 1960s, some military Rolls-Royce engines had operating lives measured in hours. The use of coatings extended the operating window considerably, repaying the coating cost many times over and reducing the need to hold multiple spare engines for rapid changeover. Today, gas turbine engines have long operating periods, and coatings, coupled with design improvements, play a fundamental role in this. Although the coating costs are high, the overhaul costs are even higher, so the use of surface coatings substantially decreases whole-lifecycle costs. Landing gear is one area most prone to deterioration in the aerospace industry. A particular design included a stop-pad between the bogie beam and vertical part of the component to prevent wear as it is retracted into the fuselage. However, this impact results in potential wear at the interface, with a further risk of atmospheric corrosion. Surface Technology’s sister company, SIFCO ASC has worked with a leading manufacturer of landing gear to implement a further layer of protection in the manufacturing process to extend the lifespan of its landing gear. A design modification was agreed involving the application of a nickel chrome electrolytic protective treatment that provides a significant in-service maintenance reduction. Construction and petrochemical equipment Three examples illustrate the benefits of using coatings in heavy equipment. Earth-moving equipment for quarries and open-cast mines experience very high wear, and generally require frequent fan replacements. A highly abrasive-resistant Surface Technology coating improves fan life by up to eight times, boosting productivity and minimising replacement costs. Similarly, the pivot pins used in backhoe loaders and other mechanical handling machines experience issues with wear and lubrication. Using anti-corrosion and lubricating coatings on these pins reduces running costs far more than the original coating cost. Percussion rock drilling equipment also relies on having lubricating and wear-resistant coatings on the pistons. Not only does the coating allow for tighter dimensional control, but it also increases efficiency by reducing wear and extending drill life – again, driving down whole-lifecycle costs. As we have seen, the right surface coating can deliver a return on the investment many times over. It can lower overall equipment costs by extending operating life and increasing component replacement and servicing intervals. It can also improve performance and enable greater efficiency and equipment uptime. The key is investing in the best coating for the application. To do this successfully requires an extensive knowledge of coating properties, applications and substrate material performance. For more information visit: twitter: @surfaceworldmag 2017 - 2018 193