High strength, toughness, and cost effectiveness are three principal benefits provided by thermal plasma technology. The testing is a highly specific process requiring a precise temperature to achieve and an accurate spray solution temperature that ensures a controlled transfer of heat. The testing procedure involves multiple passes with successive temperatures which allows for the evaluation of tensile and dynamic effects in a relatively small space. This technique is highly effective in applications where high tensile loads are to be applied or where component testing is required. Producers such as Poeton understand this process perfectly.
The second purpose is to test the fatigue performance of a particular femoral stem design subjected to thermal plasma spray application of low-density titanium powder in the cross-section of the design. The third and final purpose is to assess the mechanical properties of the femoral stems at different mechanical tensions. Although the testing is a very detailed one there is still a good deal of variation between individual runs so the stresses placed on individual parts can not be determined. The fatigue study is performed in order to determine whether changes in component deformation, stress, or stress relief are consistent between all runs.
Thermal plasma spraying is used as a method of surface engineering in a wide range of applications. Some of the common uses include surface coating of stainless steel, stainless steels, magnesium, aluminum alloyed alloys, polycarbonate and other metals, metal electroplating, bonding, impregnation, etc. The spray solutions, which contain a combination of high concentrations of plasma, are usually applied to the surface in thin layers. The thickness of the applied layer is dependent upon several factors including the type of substrate to be coated, the type of coating to be applied and the run time of the plasma spraying equipment.