Loading of a Hardide coating reactor.
Loading of a Hardide coating reactor.

Hardide Coatings says that its Hardide-T CVD (chemical vapour deposition) tungsten carbide coating was used to coat a range of deflector plates for Royal Mail sorting machines in the UK.

According to the company, testing showed that the coating offered a more longer lasting solution compared with original equipment manufacturer and stainless-steel alternatives. The plates coated with the Hardide-T processed 50% more items than hard chrome plated alternatives and 255% more items than the OEM parts. 

The coarse nature of paper envelopes means that the plates, manufactured in 304 stainless steel, are subject to continuous levels of subtle abrasive wear. This was resulting in burrs forming on the trailing edge of the plates which was causing Royal Mail both replacement cost and safety concerns.  They were replacing the plates every 4-6 months to prevent burring and this quickly became costly due to machine downtime and the purchasing of new parts.  The plates were also causing the potential for injury of the machine operators if they drew a hand across a trailing edge on which a burr had formed. 

‘With test results showing almost no wear on the deflector plate, it means I can expect not to touch it for up to five years,’ said Mark Jordan, national asset lifecycle manager for Royal Mail Central Engineering. ‘Hardide-T offers a far superior level of initial wear resistance, a continued level of protection over time and a many-fold extension of component life.’

Royal Mail and Hardide Coatings are currently working on the development and testing of two more high-wear parts for sorting machine applications.

This story is reprinted from material from Hardide, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.