Plansee has announced that as of June 2014 it will produce only environmentally friendly plasma spray electrodes made of tungsten-lanthanum (WL10).
The tungsten-lanthanumoxide plasma spray electrodes (WL10) offer an ecologically responsible, high-performance alternative to radioactive thorium, state Plansee. The new WL10 will help cut shipment, packaging and recycling costs.
The Institute for Physical Metallurgy and Materials Testing at Leoben University compared the performance of electrodes manufactured from tungsten-lanthanum (WL10) with that of thoriated (WT20) electrodes. While the ignition properties are identical, the deposition efficiency of WL10 is consistently better. The arc voltage of tungsten-lanthanum drops more slowly than that of thoriated tungsten. This results in less wear. Due to the reduced abrasion at WL10 electrodes, the porosity of the applied coatings also increases only half as quickly.
The switchover to WL10 electrodes does not require any modifications of the process parameters such as current intensity or arc voltage.
The in-depth scientific study will be presented and published for the first time at the 18th Plansee Seminar in June 2013.