Film set

Polystyrene props are first cut to shape and then metal sprayed with zinc and steel to strengthen them and make them less prone to dents during movement around the film set.

Repairs and patch up props due to damage caused while they are moved around, or through contact with actors and filming equipment. Metal spraying can be applied on all sorts of surfaces, including apples and wood.


So, when it comes to creating the new film sets it makes perfect sense  to metal spray polystyrene shapes to give them strength and protection.

The 3D map, created for a film, needs to be strong enough to take the weight of the actors who will be walking upon it during filming.  This strength and durability is provided by the metal sprayed finish.

The reason metal spraying works so well for polystyrene is that the molten particles created during the Arcspray process hold only a small amount of heat energy.  This heat dissipates very quickly when it comes into contact with the large surface of the polystyrene.  During the Arcspray process the raw materials, a pair of metal wires, are melted by an electric arc.  The molten material, in this case zinc and steel, is atomised by a cone of compressed air and propelled towards the polystyrene.  This spray solidifies when it hits the surface of the work piece to form a dense coating making metal spraying the perfect solution for protecting items made from polystyrene.


One of the alternatives to metal spraying is to fill or coat the surface of the polystyrene shapes with hard setting resins. This process is very messy, takes time to cure and requires additional work in sanding the surface to acquire the appropriate finish.  With the tight timescales , metal spraying provides the most efficient and effective solution.


Metal sprayed polystyrene for other film scenes have also been used these include cutting ‘books’ out of polystyrene for a library scene. The books were then metal sprayed for durability and painted to look like a row of books.  Different coloured metals and materials can be used to offer a range of finishes.  Post spraying techniques, such as polishing and acid ageing are available.

As well as being used on polystyrene, metal spraying can also be used to spray fibreglass and carbon fibre mouldings for decorative purposes.



“Vulcan” the colossal statue overlooking Birmingham Alabama, was designed by Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti and cast from iron in 1904. The 56 foot high sculpture Vulcan is the Roman God of the Forge.

In 1999 the 50 ton statue was in desperate need of repair in 2001 work began. After cleaning, the castings were lightly grit blasted and a thick layer of Zinc was applied using the Metalspray process to both the interior and exterior surfaces of the statue. After being sprayed the , castings were stored outdoors without fear of corrosion and then bought into the shop for repairs.

After repairs another layer of Zinc was applied using the Metalspray technique. This was followed by primer coat and polyurethane coating before being re-erected in June 2003

Bronze Seed



 Figure 1. Three different seed segments were shaped by the artist in large blocks of white tyrofoam. The individual segments are approximately three feet tall.


 Figure 2. Stainless steel skeletons were made for each of the three different shapes. These served as  structural support for the outside shell and a base plate for anchoring.


Figure 3. Copper mesh is shaped to the models; here, the back section is shown. The mesh is easily formed, often by hand, and can be cut and joined to accommodate any contour.


Figure 4. The front half of the seed is metal sprayed with zinc to solidify the shape taken from the model. The openings in the mesh readily accept the sprayed zinc. The mesh becomes encapsulated when sprayed from both sides, lending great strength to the shell.


Figure 5. The front and back sections are assembled and sprayed together on the skeleton.

The  seams will need minor grinding to disappear.


Figure 6. The final shape is touched up and lightly grit blasted, then metal sprayed with silicon bronze. It is then highlighted by polishing.


Figure 7. The three completed seed pods on site with a chemical patina finish.


Breastplate by Jose Barrera worn by Beyoncé

Jose Barrera Jewellery designer collaborating with Eric Bauer a metal fabricator working with Metalspray, Jose shaped the copper mesh for a corset breastplate and Eric metalsprayed it with Bronze. Jose then ornamented the piece with 24 karat gold plating and faceted crystal stones. The breastplate was featured by Beyoncé on her “ I am …Sasha Fierce” album in 2008.