HVOF spraying process is widely used to improve component life in service due to the high bond strength of the coatings, which is a result of the high particle velocity upon impact, and consequent low coating porosity. However, many parameters can affect metallic coatings properties, especially unmelted particles and oxidation level. Flame parameters, such as calorific power, combustion ratio and temperature, are of prime importance. Moreover, the fuel gas employed in this spraying process can lead to various coating properties and deposition efficiency. The aim of this work was focused on the influence of some fuel gases, namely propane, propylene (LPG) and hydrogen, on stainless steel coating characteristics. A specific domain common for those three gases was determined in order to effectively compare those gases with the same flame parameters. Flame characteristics were computed using a simple model for all the fuel gases considered. Temperature as well as calorific power were fixed. For different substrate temperatures, obtained through a special CO2 cooling nozzle system, richness was varied from 1.4 to 1.6. Microstructure investigation as well as oxide content and microhardness measurements were conducted. For the same kinetic torch parameters, thickness-per pass gave an idea of the deposition efficiency. In the range studied, deposits properties were quite similar for both LPG fuel gases. Hydrogen led to better characteristics in term of oxide content, although its deposition efficiency was a bit lower. A general law was established to link oxide content within the coatings to the flame parameters. A reasonable regression analysis was obtained for all the coatings sprayed. The combination of cooling efficiency (i.e. CO2 flow rate) and flame characteristics (i.e. interaction of the particle in flight) led to a good correlation. These correlations were further verified by spraying another metallic powder, namely Inconel 625.

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