Advancement of Shock-wave Induced Spraying Process through the Study of Gas and Particle Flow Fields

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Gary Rankin

Second Advisor

Bertrand Jodoin


Engineering, Mechanical engineering, Plasma physics, Materials science




This research advances the knowledge of the working principles of the Shock-wave Induced Spraying Process (SISP), a thermal spray material deposition technique. Pulses created by a fast acting valve pass through a heated line increasing energy content and interacting with metered batches of heated or non-heated powder introduced into the line. The powder is accelerated to high velocities before bonding to the substrate upon impact. Advantages over other cold spray processes include cost savings and a more effective transfer of thermal energy to the powder. The shock-wave occurring near the substrate in other cold spray processes is avoided. The SISP flow field is resolved by using a computational model. The two-dimensional model accounts for the valve, gas heater, a tapered nozzle at the tip of the device, and preheating of the powder. It is implemented with a commercial computational fluid dynamics code. Comparisons are made with one-dimensional predictions, and measurements of pressure and temperature. Particle flow predictions are validated using particle velocity and adhesion measurements. A flow region of both high temperature and velocity gas, favorable to material deposition, forms which is not present in comparable steady-state cold spray processes. Increasing gas pressure increases the gas speed, while increasing temperature increases speed and temperature of this region. Using helium results in greater energy levels but for shorter periods of time. This indicates the need for a powder feeder which places particles in the flow at correct instants and durations of time. The effects of particle flow parameters on system performance are examined. It is found that the device must be operated at very high main heater and powder heater temperatures: 900 °C and 700 °C respectively to achieve a coating with stainless steel using nitrogen as the driving gas. It is also shown that a heater length range of 0.9 m to 1.4 m results in the greatest likelihood of achieving a coating. A higher spray frequency yields more uniform coating at the expense of performance. Powder heating becomes effective at temperatures above 300 °C, especially with aluminum compared to copper and stainless steel.