Two 7-8 wt% yttria-stabilized zirconia powders of similar size and chemistry but having different microstructure properties and manufacturing routes were studied. One significant difference was the density and internal porosity of the starting powders. Deposition efficiency (DE) of the low density (LD) powder was found to be higher and less sensitive to changes in the spray process parameters than the high density (HD) powder. Probing the in-flight particle characteristics with the DPV- 2000 made it possible to link the observed DE values with the in-flight particle temperature. For each powder, DE was found to depend mainly on a single variable, the in-flight particle temperature. DE was found to vary strongly with particle temperature for temperatures under 2700°C, whereas the dependence with particle temperature was much less important above 2700°C. Variations in DE seemed to evolve according to variations of the melted fraction of the sprayed material. Since the LD powder was found to achieve higher particle temperatures at given spray conditions, DE was found to be higher for the LD material and the range of variations in DE was found to be much less than that observed with the HD material. Examination of the coating microstructures revealed that a coating produced with the LD powder had slightly higher porosity than that produced with the HD powder at similar inflight parameters. Spraying at higher in-flight particle temperature or velocity, which resulted in higher and more robust DE values, tended to yield coatings with lower porosity, resulting in coating density exceeding the tolerance range specified by some end-users. Increasing the powder feed rate and using conditions that produced a higher in-flight particle temperature were found to increase the porosity up to an acceptable level without significantly degrading DE. Therefore, a solution was found that not only reduced the sensitivity of DE to changes in the spraying conditions but also increased the rate of production by reducing the time required to spray the part.

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