HVOF thermal spray deposited Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 coatings for thermal barrier applications

Tabbetha A. Dobbins, Richard Knight, Merrilea J. Mayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


High velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) thermal spray has been successfully used to deposit yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) for thermal barrier coating (TBC) applications. Adherent coatings were obtained within a limited range of spray conditions using hydrogen as fuel gas. Spray parameters such as hydrogen-to-oxygen ratio, spray distance, and substrate cooling were investigated. Spray distance was found to have a pronounced effect on coating quality; adherent coatings were obtained for spray distances between 75 and 125 mm from the gun exit for the hydrogen-to-oxygen ratios explored. Compared to air plasma spray (APS) deposited YSZ coatings, the HVOF deposited coatings were more fully stabilized in the tetragonal phase, and of similar density, surface roughness, and cross-sectional microhardness. Notably, fracture surfaces of the HVOF coatings revealed a more homogeneous structure. Many theoretical models predict that it should not be possible to melt YSZ in an HVOF flame, and therefore it should not be possible to deposit viable YSZ coatings by this process. The experimental results in the present work clearly contradict those expectations. The present results can be explained by taking into account the effect of partial melting and sintering on particle cohesion, as follows. Combustion chamber pressures (P0) of ∼3.9 bar (58.8 psi) realized during HVOF gun operation allows adiabatic flame temperature values that are above the zirconia melting temperature. Under these conditions, the Ranz-Marshall heat transfer model predicts HVOF sprayed particle surface temperatures Tp that are high enough for partial melting of small (∼10 μm) zirconia particles, Tp = (1.10-0.95)Tm. Further analysis shows that for larger particles (38 μm), adherent coatings are produced when the particle temperature, Tp = 0.59-0.60 Tm, suggesting that sintering may have a role in zirconia particle deposition during HVOF spray. These results suggest two different bonding mechanisms for powders having a broad particle size distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-225
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Thermal Spray Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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