Thermal spray is a generic term for a group of coating processes used to apply metallic, ceramic, cermet, and some polymeric coatings for a broad range of applications. This article provides a brief description of commercially important thermal spray processes, namely, powder-fed flame spray, wire- or rod-fed flame spray, electric arc spray, plasma arc spray, vacuum plasma spray, high-velocity oxyfuel spray, detonation gun deposition, and cold spray, and their advantages. It provides details on the microstructural characteristics of thermal spray coatings. The article also presents information on a wide variety of materials that can be thermal sprayed, such as metals, ceramics, intermetallics, composites, cermets, polymers, and functionally gradient materials. Tables are included, which list the thermal spray processes and coating properties of importance for various industrial applications.
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