"We began working on a nanostructured thermal spray pilot project with Gartner approximately 15 months ago," said Rudi Moerck, president of Altair Nanotechnologies.

"MOGAS Industries is the leading global supplier of severe service ball valves for the power, process, mining/autoclave and speciality applications industries," added Jimmy Walker, Gartner's production manager. "Results from the pilot programme indicated that our unique nanostructured thermal spray application significantly increased the service cycle for the MOGAS ball valves."

According to Walker, the ball valves are used in extreme environments where they are continually exposed to corrosive, abrasive and erosive wear. Longer times between services can save millions of production dollars that would otherwise be lost when a valve is sent back for resurfacing.

Thermal spraying deposits materials onto substrates in molten or semi-molten form. MOGAS, Altair and Gartner hope to develop new applications for thermal spray coatings with improved life expectancy and corrosion resistance.