Similar to Plasmaspray, the thermal energy used while electric arc spraying stems from an electricity power source. Unlike the Plasmaspray, the thermal energy is not transmitted to the coating-material by an ionized gas (e.g. argon in plasma spraying), but the electric arc is set up directly between two tapered wires composed of the electroconductive coating-material. The high temperature created between both base points of the arc fuses the wire-material. These partly fused particles are accelerated and catapulted to the previously blasted substrate's surface by an atomizing gas.
The development of hollow wires, filled with ceramic or carbide materials, made it possible to process as well alloys, which cannot be produced in pure form in a wire-shape, or which are not electroconductive.
Häuser & Co GmbH uses the electric arc spraying for the fabrication of very hard coatings for wear- protection, or Zinc-Al-coatings for atmospheric corrosion-protection.
Compared to Plasmaspray, the electric arc spray generates coating-layers with higher porosity and a reduced number of alloys to work with. This is the reason why electric arc spray is not recommended, when coatings should protect against chlorine- or sulfur-induced corrosion.
In comparision to other thermal spray methods, the electric arc-spraying offers high fusing speed combined with rather compact size of the equipment. Therefore electric arc spraying is often used for larger surfaces or mobile applications.
Typical application fields for electric arc spraying are for example spray-galvanizing of wind-power-installations, steel-constructions, bridge-building elements, or as well some maritim applications.