The plasma-spray process features complex plasma-particle interactions that can result in process variations that limit process repeatability and coating performance. This paper reports our work on the development of real-time diagnostics and control for the plasma spray process. The strategy is to directly monitor and control those degrees of freedom of the process that are observable, controllable, and affect resulting coating properties. This includes monitoring of particle velocity and temperature as well as the shape and trajectory of the spray pattern. Diagnostics that have been developed specifically for this purpose and integrated with a closed loop process controller are described.

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