Atmospheric vs Vacuum Clad: What Matters
The explosion cladding technology (EXW) was patented by DuPont in 1960. The DuPont DetaClad® team built the world’s first industrial explosion cladding facility in the mid-1960’s at Pompton Lakes, NJ, USA. The cladding operations for this facility were performed in an underground blast chamber two hundred meters from the clad production factory. The chamber was isolated by heavy steel doors to provide noise and air pollution management. After evaluation of cladding atmosphere options, including vacuum, DuPont chose to work with the natural air atmosphere in their underground chamber. The DuPont cladding production technology was fully developed at this site, culminating in the creation of the DetaClad Technical Cladding Manual. In the late 1960s, DuPont proceeded to license their DetaClad EXW technology globally to licensors in several European countries as well as India and Japan.
In the early years, many of the licensor companies chose to operate open-air (atmospheric) cladding production sites to minimize startup costs. Today, all the major explosion cladding facilities globally, except for India and China, have moved their cladding operations into blasting chambers, similar to the original DetaClad chamber in Pompton Lakes. These chambers provide protection from natural weather events and temperature variances as well as the ability to manage the natural environmental noise, shock, and visual effects of the explosion cladding event. Cladding chambers around the world vary from tunnels originally created by mining operations to highly engineered blast control structures. Almost all explosion clad manufactured globally today is produced in an atmospheric environment.