Thermal spraying technology still suffers from a lack of reproducibility due to uncontrollable factors during the process. Current methods of process control by means of observing process parameters like gas- and powder flow are insufficient to guarantee a constant quality of coatings, while a direct analysis of the deposited layer is time- consuming and can only be conducted after the process. Furthermore, recently developed mathematical models which correlate process parameters to coating properties are not applicable for all materials. As the particles’ behavior during the process affects the coating properties, a direct process control by the observation of the particles seems expedient. This method is applicable on running processes and thus avoids defective production. In this study, HVOF spraying experiments were conducted. The in-flight particles’ behavior was investigated using an optical diagnostic system, while coating properties were analysed by metallographical methods.