Process Conditions and Microstructures of Ceramic Coatings by Gas Phase Deposition Based on Plasma Spraying
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Plasma spraying at very low pressure (50-200 Pa) is significantly different from atmospheric plasma conditions (APS). By applying powder feedstock, it is possible to fragment the particles into very small clusters or even to evaporate the material. As a consequence, the deposition mechanisms and the resulting coating microstructures could be quite different compared to conventional APS liquid splat deposition. Thin and dense ceramic coatings as well as columnar-structured strain-tolerant coatings with low thermal conductivity can be achieved offering new possibilities for application in energy systems. To exploit the potential of such a gas phase deposition from plasma spray-based processes, the deposition mechanisms and their dependency on process conditions must be better understood. Thus, plasma conditions were investigated by optical emission spectroscopy. Coating experiments were performed, partially at extreme conditions. Based on the observed microstructures, a phenomenological model is developed to identify basic growth mechanisms.
Keywordsactivation energy gas phase deposition microstructure plasma spray-PVD structure zone model
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