This article discusses various control processes carried out in powder feeding, thermal spraying, and gas flow of the thermal spray process to standardize the coating quality. Quality of the entire powder feeding process can be achieved by controlling the processing of feeding equipment as well as the characteristics of the powder being fed. Gas flow control can be achieved by using rotameters, critical orifices, and thermal mass flowmeters, whose ability to provide useful information is defined by their resolution, accuracy, linearity, and repeatability. The commercial thermal spray controls discussed here include the open-loop input-based, open-loop output-based, closed-loop input-based, and closed-loop output-based or adaptive controls. The article discusses the common causes and practical solutions for arc starting problems. It also outlines certain important developments in measuring individual and collective particle velocities, temperature, and trajectories as well as other plume characteristics for the plasma spray process.
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