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Controlling Microstructure of Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Prepared from Suspensions and Solutions by Plasma Spraying with High Feed Rates


Introduction of suspension and solution plasma spraying led to a breakthrough in the deposition of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) coatings and enabled preparation of new types of layers. However, their deposition with high feed rates needed, for example, for the deposition of thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) on large-scale components, is still challenging. In this study, possibility of high-throughput plasma spraying of YSZ coatings is demonstrated for the latest generation of high-enthalpy hybrid water-stabilized plasma (WSP-H) torch technology. The results show that microstructure of the coatings prepared by WSP-H may be tailored for specific applications by the choice of deposition conditions, in particular formulation of the liquid feedstock. Porous and columnar coatings with low thermal conductivity (0.5-0.6 W/mK) were prepared from commercial ethanol-based suspension. Dense vertically cracked coatings with higher thermal conductivity but also higher internal cohesion were deposited from suspension containing ethanol/water mixture and coarser YSZ particles. Spraying of solution formulated from diluted zirconium acetate and yttrium nitrate hexahydrate led also to the successful deposition of YSZ coating combining regions of porous and denser microstructure and providing both low thermal conductivity and improved cohesion of the coating. Enthalpy content, liquid-plasma interaction and coating buildup mechanisms are also discussed.

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Financial support provided by Czech Science Foundation through Grant No. GA15-12145S (Physical aspects of plasma spray deposition from liquid feedstock) is gratefully acknowledged. The spraying experiments with suspension “B” were co-financed by the courtesy of National Science Centre (Poland) in the frame of grant Preludium, 2014/15/N/ST8/02660.

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Musalek, R., Medricky, J., Tesar, T. et al. Controlling Microstructure of Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Prepared from Suspensions and Solutions by Plasma Spraying with High Feed Rates. J Therm Spray Tech 26, 1787–1803 (2017).

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  • hybrid plasma torch
  • microstructure
  • solution precursor spraying
  • suspension spraying
  • thermal barrier coatings (TBCs)
  • water-stabilized plasma
  • yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ)