Journal of Thermal Spray Technology

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 445–456 | Cite as

Rapid solidification and microstructure development during plasma spray deposition

  • S. Sampath
  • H. Herman
Reviewed Paper


Plasma spray processing is a well-established method for forming protective coatings and free-standing shapes from a wide range of alloys and ceramics. The process is complex, involving rapid melting and high-velocity impact deposition of powder particles. Due to the rapid solidification nature of the process, deposit evolution also is complex, commonly leading to ultrafine-grained and metastable microstruc-tures. The properties of a plasma-sprayed deposit are directly related to this complex microstructure. This paper examines the solidification dynamics and the resultant microstructures in an effort to estab-lish a processing/microstructure relationship. Existing models in the literature developed for splat coo-ling have been extended and applied for examining the rapid solidification process during plasma spraying. Microstructural features of the splats that are produced by individual impinging droplets are examined through scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The relation of dimensions and mor-phologies of these individual splats to the consolidated deposit microstructure is considered. In addition, the distinguishing features in the solidification and microstructural development between air plasma spraying and vacuum plasma spraying are explored, and a unified model is proposed for splat solidifica-tion and evolution of the microstructure.


electron microscopy metastable phases microstructure development rapid solidification texture 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Sampath
    • 1
  • H. Herman
    • 1
  1. 1.Thermal Spray Laboratory, Department of Materials Science and EngineeringState University of New YorkStony BrookUSA

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