HVOF has the potential to produce Hydroxyapatite HA (Bio-ceramic) coatings based on its experience with other sprayed ceramic materials. This technique should offer mechanical and biological results comparable to other thermal spraying processes such as plasma spray currently FDA approved for HA deposition. Deposition of HA via HVOF is a new venture especially using the Sulzer Metco Diamond Jet (DJ) process, hence the aim of this paper. In this research, a Design of Experiment (DOE) model as developed to optimize the HVOF process for the deposition of HA. Five parameters (factors) were researched over two levels namely: oxygen flow rate, propylene flow rate, air flow rate, spray distance and powder flow rate. Coating crystallinity and purity were measured as the responses to the factors used. The research showed that: propylene, air flow rate, spray distance and powder feed rate had the largest effect on the responses and the study aimed to find the desired optimised settings. This research found crystallinity and purity values of 93.8% and 99.8% respectively for a set of HVOF parameters which were improved findings compared to the crystallinity and purity of 87.6 % and 99.4 % respectively found using the FDA approved Plasma thermal spray process. Hence a new technique for HA deposition now exists using the DJ HVOF facility. Future research aims to evaluate the biological response to these coatings through in vitro tests.

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