Kermetico HVAF and HVOF thermal spray equipment

Wear Protection of Turbine Rotors with HVAF and HVOF Thermal Spray Coating Equipment and Services

Kermetico HVAF technology and equipment allows the deposition of impermeable, hard and ductile coatings to protect turbine rotors from corrosion and wear.

The high ductility of our rotor coating reduces the risk of cracking if flexed and provides loading stress resistance, while the gas-tight structure provides corrosion resistance.

HVAF Coating of a Geothermal Rotor after Solvent Cleaning

The HVAF Coating of a Geothermal Rotor after Solvent Cleaning

Our rotor coatings provide better quality/price ratio than most other coating methods.

The Wear and Corrosion Factors of Turbomachinery Rotors

Pitting Corrosion of Steam Turbine Rotors

Pitting, corrosion fatigue and stress corrosion cracking problems all occur in steam turbines. The primary corrodents are sodium hydroxide, chloride, sulfates and sulfides.

Usually, the level of contaminants present in steam is not high enough to corrode the system components. As steam expands through a turbine, the solubility of contaminants in the steam decreases. They condense onto surfaces at solution concentrations much higher than the original contaminant level in the steam. These concentrated solutions promote system corrosion.

Rotor pitting corrosion is commonly associated with chloride deposits.

Flow-Accelerated Corrosion of Steam Turbine Rotors

Flow-accelerated corrosion of carbon and low-alloy steels in the steam path two-phase flow has been less widespread in fossil plants than in nuclear plants; however, it has occurred in some locations, like rotor seal areas and rotor shaft-last disk transitions.

Geothermal Turbines Corrosion

The geothermal corrosive environment determines the choice of highly corrosion-resistant materials for rotors and blades. Different rotor and blade materials frequently result in electrochemical corrosion.

Due to the galvanic corrosion effect, rotor materials were subjected to more severe crevice corrosion than blade materials. The stress corrosion cracking initiation and propagation did not occur after 4,000 hours of corrosion testing in H2S free waters, although the sulfide induced stress corrosion cracking took place in water with hydrogen sulfide.

Those are the reasons why different techniques of surface treatment are being used to protect turbine rotor surfaces.

The Features of Kermetico HVAF Coating Technology

Kermetico High Velocity Air Fuel (HVAF) technology has been shown to be very competitive in the protection of turbine rotors from corrosion and wear.

Thicker layer HVAF rotor coatings provide an option to refurbish even heavily worn rotors.

The high velocity of the Kermetico HVAF in-flight particles (over 1,000 m/s) enables the production of very dense coatings with high adhesion.

Moreover, the low combustion spraying temperature (1,960-2,010°C  | 3,560-3,650°F) and gentle particle heating lead to minimal feedstock phase transformation and almost nonexistent elemental depletion/decomposition of the in-flight particles.

Furthermore, the replacement of pure oxygen necessary for HVOF with air in our HVAF process significantly reduces the oxide content of our coatings, which is desirable for high-performance coatings.

The Kermetico HVAF Rotor Coating Method

The traditional thermal spray approach is to melt and atomize the feedstock, propel it to the surface of the target part whereupon contact ‘splat cooling’ builds up a coating.

The Kermetico HVAF process operates on a different principle “heat slowly, spray faster.“

We heat the feedstock material to near its liquid phase temperature without exceeding it.

Then we accelerate the particles to an optimized high velocity, and when the particles impact the substrate, there is a rapid conversion of kinetic to thermal energy that allows for plastic deformation of the particle and a bond that we cannot accurately measure.

In the ASTM 633C bond test, the only result we get is broken glue at 12 KSI, even with 0.040“ (1 mm) of WCCo 88/12.

The Kermetico HVAF AK7 System Depositing a Coating onto Labyrinth Seals of a Geothermal Turbine Rotor


Kermetico HVAF Thermal Spray Equipment for Rotor Coating

Kermetico designs and manufactures three families of HVAF thermal spray equipment.

  • Convertible HVOF and HVAF equipment:
    • C7 – an HVAF/HVOF gun for large parts
    • C6 – a general purpose HVAF-HVOF gun
    • CID – internal diameter spraying HVAF+HVOF torch
  • Multi-purpose HVAF AK systems, with a variety of spray guns:
    • AK7 – a high-power gun for the thermal spray of large parts – recommended for turbine rotor coatings
    • AK6 – a universal gun to spray a balanced mix of parts in a job shop
    • AK5 – a compact gun to spray smaller parts, thin walls and complex surfaces
    • AK-ID – an 80 mm (3.15”) and larger internal diameter spray gun
    • AK-IDR – a rotating ID gun to spray 4” (100 mm) and larger bores
    • AK-HH – a handheld gun for on-site coating
  • Specialized HVAF S equipment:
    • SL – a specialized gun for spraying low melting point metals
    • SP – a dedicated gun for the most efficient precious metals’ deposition
    • STi – a specialized gun for the deposition of titanium and Ti-alloy coatings

Kermetico Inc. – HVAF and HVOF Material Science Excellence, Equipment Manufacturing and Thermal Spray Coating Since 2006

We create equipment that helps material scientists, engineers, and business managers achieve their goals.

We have installed more than 60 Kermetico HVAF and HVOF systems in the USA, Europe, Japan and China.

Some of the systems are at work in Universities and National Labs, but most of them are used in production thermal spray shops.

We proudly design and produce our thermal spray equipment in California and install it all over the world.

You can visit our R&D center in Benicia to meet our designers and see our HVAF and HVOF equipment in action.

We also apply HVAF and HVOF thermal spray coatings for customers in North America – ourselves and through our network of partners.


  1. “Steam turbine corrosion and deposits problems and solutions.” Jonas, L. Machemer Proceedings of 37th turbomachinery symposium, 2008.
  2. “Corrosion Behavior of Steam Turbine Materials for Geothermal Power Plants.” Takaku, L. Niu , H. Kawanishi , N. Takamura , 14th International Conference on the Properties of Water and Steam in Kyoto.
Wear Protection of Turbine Rotors with HVAF and HVOF Thermal Spray Coating Equipment and Services
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Wear Protection of Turbine Rotors with HVAF and HVOF Thermal Spray Coating Equipment and Services