Use of graded coatings is a well-known strategy for creating materials with continuously changing physical properties. The stiffness (modulus of elasticity) and density of flyer plates used in light gas gun testing directly influences the shape of the shock wave produced by the flyer plate. Many strategies exist for creating flyer plates that produce variable shock profiles, including stacked foils and powder compaction. We have investigated graded thermal spray coatings as an alternative method for creating flyer plates that produce variable shock profiles. An initial proof of concept demonstration has been completed by air plasma spraying a graded coating of Cu & Al onto a copper substrate. This composite flyer plate was tested in a light gas gun to demonstrate that a non-linear shock profile can be created. The plasma spray strategies used to create a group of similar graded density impactors are discussed. Initial light gas gun testing shows that graded density impactors can be created using thermal spray coatings.

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