The structure of thermally sprayed deposit consists of individual lamellae formed from melted and re-solidified particles, along with unmelted and partially melted particles, pores, microcracks, and splat boundaries. The elastic modulus of a vacuum plasma sprayed Ti-6Al-4V alloy parallel to the splat plane determined by standard uniaxial tensile testing was found to be approximately 30% lower than that of conventionally processed materials with the same level of porosity. The relationship between the elastic modulus and the microstructure was studied using an in-situ tensile testing stage in an optical microscope combined with analytical and finite element models. An idealized microstructure was used for the analytical model, which yielded an estimate of the modulus higher than that measured. The finite-element program OOF was also used to compute the elastic modulus based on micrographs of polished and etched surfaces and predicted a reduction of about 37% in the modulus.

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