Alumina and stabilized Zirconia were plasma sprayed in air using the water-stabilized plasma torch. In the case of Alumina two different stand-off distances were applied at spraying. Nd-YAG laser was then used for additional treatment of plasma sprayed coatings. The laser was maintained in a quasi-continual regime and defocused from the surface to increase the treated coating's area. Energy density was varied together with the laser scanning velocity to ensure variance in thermal history of the treated surfaces. Microhardness, surface roughness and slurry abrasion resistance (SAR) were measured before and after the laser treatment. Results vary in dependence on the laser treatment's parameters. When the treatment results in substantial changes of the structure (up to a complete re-melting of the surface), enhancement of all measured properties was proven. It is demonstrated that the extent of change of mechanical properties can be correlated with optical properties of coating materials at the laser wavelength. Microstructural aspects of the laser treatment are discussed as well, especially at the boundary between the laser-annealed layer and the basic coating's microstructure. It is pointed out that laser overheating due to use of an extremely high energy density can cause delaminating of the coatings.

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