The effects of the plasma spray process parameters on the microstructure and properties of coatings have been recognized for a long time. It is now clearly proved that the quality and the properties of the deposits are strongly dependent on the in-flight particle characteristics as well as on the splat morphology. The aim of this study was to examine in detail: firstly the interaction between an Al2O3/13%TiO2 powder and the spraying process, secondly the splat formation in order to understand the morphology of the deposits. A good way to reach a better understanding of the particle/ plasma interaction is to determine the particle parameters at impact. The particles parameters: velocity, temperature and diameter, prior to their impact on the substrate were measured by the DPV-2000 diagnostic system. The effect of particle velocity, temperature and size on the splat morphology and deposits properties for different plasma conditions were examined. The splat morphology was characterized using the Sommerfeld dimensionless number, K; the value of which is directly related to the impact mode. These analyses were correlated to microhardness, roughness and to the tribological properties of the coatings.

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