Silicon based coatings are showing great promise for power applications in the semiconductor, target, and solar industries. In order for thermal plasma spraying of silicon to continue to have an industrial impact in these industries, careful investigations into the deposition properties must be undertaken. We used a Thermach gun and powder feeder, to deposit silicon onto 100 mm x 50 mm x 1.6 mm steel samples. Coating cross-sectioning and image analysis was performed in order to evaluate the coating’s microstructure and porosity. Mechanical property measurements consisted of hardness testing on the coating cross sections. In addition, scanning electron microscopy and optical microscopy were conducted. These results combined for an analysis into the deposition properties of silicon coatings using various particle sizings, plasma power, and spray distances. Correlations between these input parameters and their effect on the microstructure are critical to semiconductor depositions of silicon.

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