The interaction between thermal spray parameters and coating characteristics of atmospheric plasma sprayed WC-12Co was investigated by means of statistically designed experiments. A central composite design was employed to study the influence of the process parameters’ ratio Ar/H2, plasma gas volume flow, powder feed rate and stand-off distance on the deposition efficiency, tensile strength, porosity, roughness, particle temperature, particle velocity and the percentage of molten carbides. The process parameters’ volume flow and powder feed rate showed a considerable impact on the microstructure and morphology of the coatings, which could be traced back to a change in the melting degree of the powders as well as a change in particle temperature and velocity. On the basis of the statistical experiments, mathematical expressions were found to describe the coating characteristics. The quality of the mathematic model was scrutinized in a subsequent evaluation stage.

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