The PROTAL process combines a laser surface preparation and the thermal spraying stage. This laser surface preparation avoids some of the traditional drawbacks of the degreasing and sand-blasting stages which is an important factor especially for the notch-sensitive materials. Previous studies showed that deposit adhesion obtained with the PROTAL process is similar to that produced by traditional surface preparation despite the absence mechanical anchorage offered by surface roughness. In order to get a better knowledge of the effects of such a laser treatment, a Ni-5%Al coating was plasma sprayed using the PROTAL process under different surface conditions. The morphology of the impinging splats and adhesion of the deposits were then examined. Removal of the surface contaminants, adsorbates and oxides is confirmed and the role of the laser irradiation on the coating adhesion is discussed.

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