History of Cold Spray
March 17, 2023
What is Cold Spray?
Cold Spray (CS) is a deposition process and is part of the thermal spray family. This method accelerates powder particles through a rocket nozzle at a supersonic speed against a substrate or existing part. This triggers a process of metallurgical consolidation and bonding of the deposited metal powder particles, which can translate digital files into near-net-shape parts through a layer-by-layer construction process. Compared to commonly used metal additive manufacturing technologies, CS can offer improved safety, faster builds, bigger parts, reduced thermal effects, and a higher adaptability to dissimilar materials.
Cold Spray (CS) Major Highlights Throughout History
1902: Samuel Thurston was awarded a US Patent that he first applied for in 1898. Many consider it a precursor of the modern CS machines used today. The patent claimed the ability to deposit copper and aluminum coatings upon copper and steel substrates.
1913: Founded in 1913 and with more than 20,000 members worldwide, ASM International is regarded as the world’s largest and most established materials information society. Upon visiting their website and searching “cold spray,” you will find decades of published research on the subject.
1915: Dr. Max Schoop, considered the father of thermal spray, was awarded a US Patent highlighting the versatility of using solid-form particles instead of molten material to prevent thermal damage to substrates vulnerable to excessive heat.
1963: Charles Rocheville was granted a US Patent that essentially uses the method first patented by Thurston in 1902 but uses a convergent-divergent nozzle for propelling powder particles at supersonic speeds.
1980s: The “cold spray” phenomenon we know today was discovered by Russian scientists A. Papyrin and A. Alkhimov while conducting research in Siberia. They stumbled upon CS while studying the interaction of a two-phase supersonic flow of fine powder onto a solid substrate.
1993: Dr. Robert McCune, a researcher at Ford Motor Company, was shown the footage of the cold spray process and invited Dr. A. Papyrin to the United States to demonstrate the findings.
1994: The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences consortium begins extensive cold spray research. Some members included Ford Motor Company, General Electric Aircraft Engines, General Motors Corporation, the Naval Aviation Depot, and Pratt and Whitney.
2000: A cooperative cold spray Research and Development Agreement was funded by Alcoa, Ford Motor, Pratt & Whitney, and Siemens Westinghouse, to name a few.
2008: United States Department of Defense Military Standard (MIL-STD-3021) was published to establish cold spray standardization and best practices by the US Department of Defense.
2015: SPEE3D was founded, and pioneered a patented, revolutionary way of using cold spray technology to deliver industrial-grade metal parts faster than ever thought possible.
Cold Spray (CS) is a deposition process that uses supersonic acceleration of powder particles to trigger metallurgical consolidation and bonding of deposited metal powder particles onto a substrate or existing part. Compared to other metal additive manufacturing technologies, CS can offer improved safety, faster builds, bigger parts, reduced thermal effects, and higher adaptability to dissimilar materials. The technique was first patented in 1902 by Samuel Thurston and has since been developed further by researchers and organisations worldwide. This eventually led to the establishment of the United States Department of Defense Military Standard (MIL-STD-3021) in 2008 for cold spray standardization and best practices. More recently, in 2015, SPEE3D pioneered a patented way of using cold spray technology to create a novel Additive Manufacturing process capable of rapidly delivering low-cost, industrial-grade metal parts faster in minutes.
Check out the VIDEO version of this timeline on YouTube!
How We Can Help
To find out about more about cold spray and SPEE3D’s products or to just find out more about metal additive manufacturing, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us:
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Author: Chris Harris, SPEE3D VP of Defense