Thermal spray industry under new president

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The thermal spray industry in the United States is still in its adolescent stages of growth. From the early days of wire spray metallizing to twin wire electric arc spray to plasma spray and high velocity processes, the thermal spray industry has made tremendous strides in technological advancements with more and more progress to be made in the coming years. Nano technology spray is just in its infancy and sophisticated controls to fine tune the thermal spray process to minimize the myriads of variables are going to get implemented more and more in the coming years. With all this technology lurking in the horizon, the thermal spray industry can really get a boost or get a massive boot depending upon the posture of the new leadership in the oval office and the congress. This aspect is casually discussed in the thermal spray meetings and conferences without really getting into the details. Depending upon the position that the newly elected president and congress take on the various aspects affecting the growth of the thermal spray industry in the United States, it can also affect the thermal spray industry in other parts of the globe. Remember, there is no such thing as an insulated market anymore; everything is global; what happens in America does affect what happens elsewhere and vice versa.

One thing is certain; there is going to be change since President George Bush has already served two terms in office. If the newly elected officials really tighten up the air quality standards and particulate emissions from thermal spray facilities, for example, some of the flame spray facilities that have been using old paint spray booths and water wash systems and claim to have grand fathered clauses are going to be in for a surprise expense lurking in the near future as they will have to upgrade to more modern cartridge filtration systems. These systems are not cheap by any means. This may mean good business for the filtration systems manufacturers but not for the small service shop owner. Another major factor could be the tightening of workplace noise pollution standards. As everyone knows, plasma spray shops have always been operating on the upper end of the decibel spectrum with high frequency noise as well as middle frequency from hvof guns. What if they tighten that level and better acoustically designed thermal spray booths are mandated? Again, good business for the booth manufacturers but not so good for the mom and pop flame spray operator.

Then again, the oval office leadership and the congress could leave the current environmental laws unchanged, and instead approve a lot of funding for thermal spray research by way of grants and science funding through NASA, NSF and other small business research programs. They could really finance universities specializing in thermal spray research and development and that is very good for the thermal spray industry. I believe the thermal spray industry needs to get involved a little bit more in the politics of the system and try to garner sufficient funding and friendlier posture so the industry can flourish and prosper everywhere.

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