Portable cold spray technology

VRC Metal Systems explains the technology behind its new portable cold spray system.

Cold Spray Advanced Manufacturing Portable Site – or CAMP Site – is our most powerful and relatively portable unit to date.

The CAMP Site system is designed to be self-supporting for all operations with no additional additives required besides a water connection for the dust collector part of the unit.

The system starts off with a generator that supports the entire unit’s power requirements. This generator has a 125kVA output capacity that is produced by an Isuzu water-cooled, direct injection, turbo-charged diesel engine which provides a three-phase 480VAC power supply while also being tier-4 final emissions compliant. 

The unit utilizes a “PowerBalance” system to maintain sufficient load on the engine for low-load scenarios to preserve the expensive and intricate pollution control equipment. This generator supplies 110 Amps to power the cold spray system, compressor, the dust collector, robotic system and all the lights and electrical equipment inside the Site itself. Additionally, the generator has been designed for quiet operation with a measured median of 74dB(A) at the control panel. 

The other major key factor for the CAMP Site being self-supporting is a compressor system that supplies a working pressure of 4500psi. Behind the compressor itself there are 24 bottles (two 12 packs) of compressed gas, each capable of 4500psi. This gives the unit enough gas on hand, depending on the recipe being used, to spray continuously for up to eight hours. 

Compressor technology

The compressor itself is a four-stage, air-cooled, oil lubricated system with large stainless steel cooling tubes with equally large condensate separators. The compressor has a charge rate of 24.6 standard ft3/min powered by a 20HP three-phase motor. The compressor can supply enough pressurized gas to accomplish any and all cold spray operations. 

Directly behind the compressor and the generator on the inside sits the remainder of the utility cell. Inside this room is a dome regulator for the gas coming into the system from the compressor along with a distribution panel and transformer. There is also a work bench with a tool box with every tool you could possibly need for the system. Additionally, there is a heater/AC unit that maintains a suitable working environment for the operator, along with a small laboratory furnace capable of temperatures of to 1200°C that can be used for polybenzimidazole (PBI) nozzle drying, powder drying, powder processing and adhesion test glue setting.

Directly next to the utility cell room is the cold spray cell. The two rooms/cells are protected by a weather tight seal to keep all elements out.

In the booth, there is a dust collector that pulls in 5500 cfm to ensure all fugitive dust is collected during operations. There is a fixture table ready to be sprayed on, the gas train for the VRC Raptor Cold Spray System and the powder feeder with the heater directly above. Additionally, there is a jib crane/hoist that can extend out the bi-fold doors to the outside to bring in any larger parts into the spray booth up to 500 lbs. The fixture table is moveable, while the powder feeder and heater can be moved but their stands are fixed, giving the user the opportunity to adjust the tools to meet his or her needs.  

Hand spray operations

All operations that occur within the spray booth are aided by a CRX10 collaborative robot that sits along a roof’s linear rail system for mobility. The last feature of the spray booth is a pass-through door that allows you to perform hand spray operations outside the booth by taking the heater and powder feeder outside the cell and feeding the gas and power lines outside to the heater and powder feeder. This feature gives you even more capability when it comes to cold spray repairs.  

The entire CAMP Site can be moved just as a shipping container is while housing all of cold spray technologies from VRC Metal Systems. The entire system is self-supporting while also providing every possible tool required for cold spray repairs. The CAMP Site system is VRC Metal Systems latest and greatest development of cold spray technology and solutions for the rapidly growing industry.