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QPL Approval - Thermion SafTrax TH604/TH604CF (Chrome Free), Qualification QPL -32577

Thermal Spray Coatings for the Defense Industry


Military and defense equipment and vehicles are designed and built to operate in harsh environments and extremely demanding conditions. For example, because military and defense equipment, machinery, vehicles, and vessels are subjected to salt air and seawaters, they are susceptible to corrosion and oxidation. Corrosion and material wear adversely compromise mechanical and structural properties of components by making them structurally weaker, reducing both their bond and fatigue strength, minimizing their ductility, and diminishing their shear capacity. Not only does this make compromise machinery and makes vehicles and vessels vulnerable, but it also puts unnecessarily puts the lives of military personnel at risk.

Our high production Precision Arc series spray systems have made tremendous strides in combating their corrosion problems. In recent times, we have been able to introduce our TH604 nonskid to NAVSEA/ NRL. It has shown itself to be both a money-saving coating by way of decreasing weight and increase life over traditional nonskid. 

Benefits of Defense Thermal Spray Coatings

Thermion® uses industry-leading thermal spray coating technology to deliver optimal solutions for military and defense applications. Our defense thermal spray coatings provide a protective thermal coating that protects and enhances components, such as improving resistance to wear, corrosion, oxidation, impact, abrasion, and heat. For example, mission-critical components, such as military helicopter rotors, must withstand heavy vibration, extreme forces, fretting, abrasion, and both high pressures and temperatures. Our high-quality defense thermal spray coatings will improve rotor efficiency by enhancing anti-fretting, corrosion, and wear resistance by providing extra protection for the base material and extending the service life of the parts and components.

The following are benefits of thermal spray coatings for military and defense applications:

  • Prolongs the lifespan of the engine and component parts
  • Adds shielding without drastically increasing component weight
  • Provides anti-fretting and anti-galling protection
  • Improves part and engine performance and efficiency
  • Reduces friction, sliding, and wear rate
  • Increases part service life and reduces maintenance
  • Protects against corrosion and oxidation
  • Helps reduce fuel and oil consumption
  • Reduces heat transfer
  • Reduces carbon emissions
  • Improves fatigue strength
  • Enhances anti-skid and anti-slip properties

Common Thermion Equipment for the Defense Industry

Thermion® Arc Spray Systems use twin-wire arc spray technology to apply thermal sprayed coatings. Our patented Arc Voltage Drive (AVD) automatically controls the motor speed, which helps maintain a perfect arc gap and apply a consistent high-density coating. Because arc spray uses two wires, it can be twice or more than twice as productive than other thermal spray processes. Arc spray also needs only dry compressed air and electricity, which makes it significantly more economical to operate than other costly thermal spray processes.

The following AVD series metalizing systems are ideal for use in the military and defense industry:

  • Precision Arc 3.2 – Economical and versatile anti-corrosion thermal spray system. Ideal for both onsite and field use when moderately high production rate and portability are required.
  • Precision Arc 4.8 – Low energy, high deposition metalizing system that is recommended for both large onsite and field use when ultra-high production rate and portability are required.
  • AVD 250 – Newest spray system in our AVD series. It was designed specifically as an economical solution for applications that call for lighter production needs. Intended for shops that metalize as a sideline business as well as startup operations.
  • AVD 350 – Commonly used to spray engineered coatings as well as anti-corrosion and restoration applications. Ideal for normal production rates.
  • AVD 450 – Designed for engineered coatings as well as anti-corrosion and restoration applications. Ideal for both moderate and high production rates.
  • AVD 456HD – This machine includes our new high-density arc spray coating system, which is ideal for high production rates. Features include preset spring pressure, which allows continuous and precise pressure on the wires at all times and does not change when new wires are loaded.

Common Defense Industry Applications

Our defense thermal spray coatings offer broad solutions for enhancing, protecting, and prolonging the lifespan of a wide range of military and defense equipment, vehicles, vessels, and other application:

  • Naval Ships
  • Submarines
  • Helicopters
  • Land Vehicles
  • Missiles and Rockets
  • Ammunition
  • Heavy Machinery
  • Engines
  • Airframes
  • Tanks

Materials Used for Thermal Spray Coatings

Our wire materials have a proven history of providing lasting protection and performance enhancements in extreme environments and demanding conditions. Some of the common thermal spray materials we provide to the military and defense industry include:

  • Aluminum– Extremely durable coating that provides total corrosion protection and significant life improvement over conventional barrier coatings
  • Zinc – By providing a barrier coating protection to iron and steel, zinc thermal spray is a highly effective and proven method of corrosion and oxidation protection.
  • Zinc/Aluminum – Anti-corrosive coating that offers the benefits of both materials. For example, the aluminum slows down the dissolution of zinc, which increases the duration of the protection.
  • Steel – Produces a well-bonded coating that is excellent for wear-resistant, dimensional restoration, and machine element repair applications.
  • Copper ­– Offers good resistance to corrosion and both mechanical and thermal shock.
  • Stainless Steel – Enhances machinability and wear and corrosion resistance. Excellent for dimensional restoration and machine element repair applications.
  • Cobalt – Provides superb resistance to chemical and mechanical degradation over a wide range of temperatures.

Thermion® thermal spray for anti-slip and anti-skid applications are also available from SafTrax. Using our AVD series metalizing systems and the twin arc spray process, these thermal spray types can be applied to steel, aluminum, concrete, plastic, and other surface materials to provide continuous and safer non-slip surfaces. Recently, we introduced our TH604 nonskid to NAVSEA/NRL. It has been a highly effective and cost-effective coating that has decreased weight and increased the lifespan over traditional nonskid. For more information on anti-slip and anti-skid thermal sprays from Saftrax, contact us at 877-895-5731.

Why Thermion?

Thermion® metalizing equipment is used for military and defense applications to apply long life, cost-effective coatings used for anti?corrosion, anti-wear, anti-abrasion, repair, remanufacturing, and non-skid applications to name a few. Frank Rogers, our founder, invented the first Thermion® spray system in the 1980s and is still active in helping reinvent Thermion®. Thermion’s inventions for metalizing systems, including our patented Arc Shorting Control and Arc Voltage Drive features, have improved the metalizing process in coating quality, productivity, portability, and adaptability.


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