The adhesion of splats formed by impact of molten metal droplets was studied experimentally. Tin droplets (550 µm diameter) were produced using a drop-on-demand generator. To achieve high impact velocities the stainless steel coupons used as substrates were mounted on the rim of a rotating flywheel and heated using cartridge heaters. To hit a falling droplet with the substrate and photograph its impact, a timing circuit was used to synchronize three events with the position of the substrate: ejection of a droplet, triggering of the camera and a flash to provide illumination. The impact velocity was varied from 10 – 40 m/s whereas the substrate average roughness (2.0 µm) and the droplet diameter (~550 µm) were kept constant. We measured the adhesion strength of splats by a simple pull test. A wire was attached to the upper surface of each splat using epoxy and the force required to separate the splat from the substrate was recorded. A significant increase in adhesion strength was observed as the impact velocity was increased. Coatings were produced by depositing many droplets sequentially. Substrate temperature and impact velocitiy were the main parameters varied. SEM images of cross-sections through coatings showed that increasing impact velocity and substrate temperature produced better adhesion between the coating and substrate.

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