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Suspension Plasma Spraying of Sub-micron Silicon Carbide Composite Coatings


Thermal spraying of silicon carbide (SiC) material is a challenging task since SiC tends to decompose during atmospheric spraying process. The addition of metal or ceramic binders is necessary to facilitate the bonding of SiC particles, allowing SiC composite coating to be deposited. In the conventional procedures, the binders are added through mechanical mixing of powder constituents, making it difficult to achieve homogeneous distribution. In the new procedure proposed in this work, the binder is delivered as a nano-film of the surface of the individual SiC particles through co-precipitation treatment. Suspension plasma spray (SPS) coating technique has been used with the aim at avoiding the decomposition of SiC typically expected with atmospheric techniques, such as atmospheric plasma spray. The deposited SiC coatings by SPS showed identical SiC phase peak as identified in the suspension feedstock, indicating that the nano-film binder was able to protect SiC particles from decomposition. Further analysis by XPS revealed that SiC particles underwent some minor oxidation. Unfortunately, all the SiC coatings exhibited poor mechanical performance due to low cohesive strength, high porosity, and powdery structure making the coatings vulnerable to grain pull-out. This was due to the absence of sintering process during the spraying process contributing to the low performance of SiC SPS coatings.

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The authors acknowledge the support from the TSO Materialer, NTNU (Strategic Area of Materials, NTNU) and the Norwegian Micro- and Nano-Fabrication Facility, NorFab (197411/V30) for funding. Mikko Kylmälahti (Materials Science Department, TUT, Finland), Inaki Fagoaga, Carlos Vaquero, and Georgii Barykin (TECNALIA, Spain) are also thanked for helping in the production of the coatings.

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Correspondence to N. Espallargas.

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Mubarok, F., Espallargas, N. Suspension Plasma Spraying of Sub-micron Silicon Carbide Composite Coatings. J Therm Spray Tech 24, 817–825 (2015).

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  • oxide binders
  • silicon carbide
  • suspension plasma spray