Coating porosity is an important parameter to optimize for plasma-sprayed ceramics which are intended for service in molten metal environments. Too much porosity and the coatings may be infiltrated by the molten metal causing corrosive attack of the substrate or destruction of the coating upon solidification of the metal. Too little porosity and the coating may fail due to its inability to absorb thermal strains. This study describes the testing and analysis of tungsten rods coated with aluminum oxide, yttria-stabilized zirconia, yttrium oxide, and erbium oxide deposited by atmospheric plasma spraying. The samples were immersed in molten aluminum and analyzed after immersion. One of the ceramic materials used, yttrium oxide, was heat treated at 1000°C and 2000°C and analyzed by X-ray diffractography and mercury intrusion porosimetry. Slight changes in crystal structure and significant changes in porosity were observed after heat treatments.

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