A wide variety of coating methods and materials are available for different coating applications with a common purpose of protecting a part or structure exposed to mechanical or chemical damage. A benefit of this protective function is to decrease manufacturing cost since fabrication of new parts is not needed. Available coating materials include hard and stiff metallic alloys, ceramics, bio-glasses, polymers, and engineered plastic materials, giving designers a variety freedom of choices for durable protection. To date, numerous processes such as physical/chemical vapor deposition, micro-arc oxidation, sol–gel, thermal spraying, and electrodeposition processes have been introduced and investigated. Although each of these processes provides advantages, there are always drawbacks limiting their application. However, there are many solutions to overcome deficiencies of coating techniques by using the benefits of each process in a multi-method coating. In this article, these coating methods are categorized, and compared. By developing more advanced coating techniques and materials it is possible to enhance the qualities of protection in the future.
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