Thermal History Coatings

The new SCS Thermal History Coatings (THCs) give the operator reliable temperature profiles in harsh  environments. The coatings are deposited using robust standard industrial processes so that they survive where other techniques fail. The THC  stores the thermal exposure information and later – after operation – can be read out by using an optical probe.

What are Thermal History Coatings?

The SCS Thermal History Coatings are a new technology which provides an innovative solution for temperature sensing of surfaces expose to high heat. Specific coating materials, applied on the chosen component, record the peak operating temperature across the surface. The materials have innate luminescence which permanently changes due to thermal exposure allowing the temperature to be measured by non-destructive excitation and detection of the luminescence light. The measurement device can be scanned across the surface to produce an accurate thermal profile of the surface. The materials are deposited using techniques pioneered for the most challenging applications and can survive for long durations under high thermal and mechanical loads, offering both short- and long-term measurement of thermal characteristics.

Although the THC has significant advantages over existing thermal paints on the market, SCS also provides its thermal history technology  as a paint for applications requiring thinner coatings or limited thermal exposure time. For further information please see Thermal History Paints.

Why will this technology replace existing thermal paints?

Existing thermal paints on the market change colour irreversibly due to chemical changes when exposed to high temperatures. The colour changes are then compared to calibration colour charts by a skilled human operator and approximate peak surface temperatures are identified. These thermal paints suffer from a number of practical and environmental disadvantages. SCS’s THC technology overcomes these disadvantages, enabling numerous applications in industries that currently do not use thermal paints.

What are the advantages of using the SCS Thermal History Coating technology?

  • Wide temperature range covered with few coatings: The active components of the THCs allow the continuous measurement of temperatures between 300°C and 1400°C, with potential to go further to 1700°C.
  • Temperature accuracy to about ±5-10°C: The SCS Thermal History Coatings have shown temperature accuracy between 5°C and 10°C over the whole dynamic temperature range. This is better than thermal paints.
  • The SCS Thermal History Coatings are applied as a robust coating using APS (Atmospheric Plasma Spray), which can withstand harsh environments for much longer than thermal paints.
  • Automated and objective temperature reading: Surfaces are interrogated at room temperature after exposure. The readout is done using specialised optical instrumentation, developed by SCS. Unlike existing thermal paints, the readout is objective and can be automated for full 2D profiling of complete, complex individual components or assemblies.
  • In-situ measurements possible: The SCS Thermal History Coatings can be interrogated in-situ, without the need for dismantling of the components or assemblies. Furthermore, the interrogation does not require a controlled lighting environment, and can therefore be performed as a borescope-type interrogation.
  • REACH: In contrast to existing thermal paints the SCS Thermal History Coating technology does not contain hazardous materials which are restricted by the European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of Chemicals.
Is the technology available? The User Club initiative

In collaboration with a number of international OEMs SCS seeks to obtain a generic international standard for the technology. To this end the company has formed a User Club of interested OEMs. The User Club consists of current users of thermal paints and thermal barrier coatings, but is relevant for any companies that require thermal imaging of components or assemblies. SCS is inviting new members to join the User Club up until mid-2013.