, Volume 21, Issue 3-4, pp 363-371
Date: 29 Nov 2011

Improving Atmospheric Plasma Spraying of Zirconate Thermal Barrier Coatings Based on Particle Diagnostics


Lanthanum zirconate (La2Zr2O7) has been proposed as a promising material for thermal barrier coatings. During atmospheric plasma spraying (APS) of La2Zr2O7 a considerable amount of La2O3 can evaporate in the plasma flame, resulting in a non-stoichiometric coating. As indicated in the phase diagram of the La2O3-ZrO2 system, in the composition range of pyrochlore structure, the stoichiometric La2Zr2O7 has the highest melting point and other compositions are eutectic. APS experiments were performed with a TriplexPro™-200 plasma torch at different power levels to achieve different degrees of evaporation and thus stoichiometry. For comparison, some investigations on gadolinium zirconate (Gd2Zr2O7) were included, which is less prone to evaporation and formation of non-stoichiometry. Particle temperature distributions were measured by the DPV-2000 diagnostic system. In these distributions, characteristic peaks were detected at specific torch input powers indicating evaporation and solidification processes. Based on this, process parameters can be defined to provide stoichiometric coatings that show good thermal cycling performance.