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Overview 1909 — Schoop Invents Thermal Spray
In the early 1900s, Max Ulrich Schoop, of Zurich, Switzerland experiments with the spraying of lead and zinc metals for protective coatings. In 1909, Schoop obtained a patent covering the use of a combustion process (oxygen fuel) to melt wire and direct it to a substrate. Schoop’s second patent, in 1911, incorporated an electric arc as a production heat source. Thus, the technology of thermal spraying was begun. During its early application, the metallizing process was used mainly for corrosion protective coatings.

In 1917, Schoop received the John Scott Award. Created in 1834, the John Scott Award honors "the most deserving" inventors. Schoop received the award for "Schoops Metal Spraying Process". Recipients have included Mme. Marie Curie, Guglielmo Marconi, the Wright brothers and Thomas Edison. In 1994, Mr. Schoop was inducted into the Thermal Spray Hall of Fame.


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1933 — Rea Axline Founds Metallizing Engineering Company (later METCO)
In the midst of the worst economic depression ever in the United States, Rea Axline, a recent California Institute of Technology graduate, founds a small shop in Jersey City, New Jersey to sell wire spray equipment for corrosion control and repair of simple machine elements. The company started with 5 employees and included two of Rea’s talented associates from Cal Tech.

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1938 — Metco Introduces Type-E Gun With Improved Wire Spray Rates
Featuring easily adjusted "fast" and "slow" speeds for spraying soft or hard metals without the need for gear changes, the E-gun was rapidly embraced for its economical, high-speed metallizing rates. The E-gun could spray 3.2 mm (1/8 inch) wire – a larger diameter than previously used – with lower air consumption. Also introduced were the company’s first materials, Metcoloy ®1 and Metcoloy 2, both stainless steel wires. Metcoloy 2 is still marketed today.

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1948 — Metco Expands Into Europe
Metco establishes its first subsidiary in the UK, followed shortly thereafter by offices in Germany, Austria and Holland. The new Type-L Gun cut compressed air use by 60%, bringing modern metallizing within reach of the smallest shop. Gas flow meters and Sprabond wire – a molybdenum alloy for smooth surfaces – were introduced.

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1956 — Metco Markets the ThermoSpray Powder Gun and Self-fluxing Alloys
The Type-P ThermoSpray® Powder Gun for spraying refractory ceramics, self-fluxing alloys and tungsten carbides makes its debut. Sprasteel® LS was also developed in 1956.

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1960 — Metco Becomes Metco Inc., Markets Water-Cooled Plasma Flame Gun
A name change and a 200 for 1 stock split started Metco’s decade with a bang. Metco introduces the Type MB plasma gun and plasma spray system, marking the advent of a commercially viable process to thermal spray ceramics, refractories and other high-temperature materials. Metco’s product portfolio appropriately expands to include a wide variety of powders suitable for the plasma process. In 1964, Metco introduced Metco 404 self-fluxing, exothermic, nickel aluminide powder – first in a family of composite spray materials excellent for base coats and product build-up.

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