Sulzer HICoat celebrates 25th anniversary

The Sulzer HICoat® brand is celebrating 25 years of delivering cutting-edge coatings for a wide variety of industrial applications. Over the years, the in-house expertise has developed more advanced protective coatings that provide increased durability and efficiency for a wide range of rotating equipment.

Originally acquired by Sulzer 35 years ago, Hickham Industries was a company mainly focused on process equipment repair and later developed expertise in gas turbine repair and airfoil manufacture, as well as specialized coatings.

Today, the range of coatings covers most industrial sectors and is used across a wider variety of rotating equipment. From early beginnings, the emphasis was on steam turbines, pumps, and compressors, which have benefitted from anti-fouling, corrosion protection, and erosion protection coatings.

As the technology progressed, research moved to encompass gas turbines, which rely on thermal barrier coatings (TBC) and abradable coatings to achieve their high-performance figures. Operating at temperatures that would melt the components’ base materials, a gas turbine’s continued efficiency depends on precision manufacturing and expert application of coatings during any repairs.

One of the most recent developments from HICoat is laser metal deposition (LMD), which offers several advantages for the repair of rotating equipment. The lower heat input, compared to conventional weld repairs, produces an excellent metallurgical bond while minimizing material stress. Additional benefits include reduced maintenance project times and a solution that avoids complete component replacement when a conventional weld repair is not an option.