Cu coating was deposited by microplasma spraying system under a low power of 2.8 to 4.2kW. The effects of the main processing parameters including plasma arc power, operating gas flow and spray distance on particle velocity during spraying, and the microstructure and properties of the coating were investigated. The coating microstructure was examined with optical microscopy. The coating properties were characterized by cross sectional microhardness. The particle velocity during in-flight was examined using a particle velocity/temperature measurement system based on thermal radiation. The experiment results showed that particle velocity was increased with the increase in operating gas flow, and was not influenced significantly by plasma arc power and spray distance. Moreover, the microhardness of the coating was increased with the increase in arc power and with the decrease in spray distance. The operating gas flow showed no significant influence on the microhardness of the coating. The analysis suggested that the microhardness of the coating is influenced significantly by particle temperature. The comparison showed that the microhardness of the Cu coating deposited by microplasma spray is comparable to that of the coating deposited by conventional plasma spray system at power level of 30kW.

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