In situ Particle Generation and Splat Formation During Solution Precursor Plasma Spraying of Yttria‐Stabilized Zirconia Coatings
Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) based on Yttria‐stabilized Zirconia (YSZ) deposited by the solution precursor plasma spray (SPPS) technique have been claimed to exhibit superior durability compared to conventional
plasma spraying and even electron‐beam physical vapor deposition. This has been attributed to the interesting features, like vertical cracks, nanosized pores, and fine splats that are inherent to SPPS‐deposited YSZ coatings. However,
the mechanism of coating formation during SPPS processing is not yet well understood. This study is aimed at understanding the influence of some key SPPS process variables on in situ generated particles and subsequent splat formation to augment
the current level of understanding. The plasma power employed was found to play a major role in governing the morphology and phase constitution of in situ generated particles. The shape and size of the YSZ splats were also significantly influenced by the plasma
power, but the substrate pre‐heat was also noted to be a major determining factor. It was further observed that the SPPS typically involved in situ generation of very fine particulates (50–500 nm) and splats (typically 200–2000 nm),
which lead to its nano‐porous and homogeneous microstructure. The YSZ coating characteristics were also found to correlate well with the above results.