The HVOF spraying process has recently been considered for the deposition of dense alumina coatings for dielectric coatings in semiconductor applications and as a turbine blade tip coating in aeroengines. However, due to the lower flame temperature of the HVOF process compared to the plasma spray process it is necessary to have good control over the key process parameters to achieve the correct coating characteristics. The work reported presents the results of a design of experiment study carried out on a TopGun HVOF system used to prepare coatings of alumina. The influence of several key parameters on coating characteristics such as porosity, alumina phase type, microhardness, surface roughness and adhesion have been determined. The parameters varied included oxygen and hydrogen fuel gas flow rates, and spray distance. Based on the results of these investigations recommendations are made on the control of key parameters and the range of coating characteristics that can be expected.