New concept and method of testing for the interconnecting porosity of thermally sprayed nonconductive ceramic coatings is proposed. This process is useful to differentiate the open porosity from the closed porosity. Thermally sprayed ceramic coating with metallic substrate is plated, and the intergranular gaps in the coating are filled by deposited metal. Typically, 304 stainless steel substrate deposited with atmospheric plasma sprayed alumina coating is immersed in copper(II) sulphate bath, and electroplated. Inward of the alumina coating, plating solution penetrates toward the interface of coating/substrate via interconnected porosity, and attains the coating-substrate interface to deposit metallic copper. Deposit of copper is gradually grown up along the coating intergranular. The exposure of deposited copper on the coating surface can be visible. Because these phenomena occur only in the interconnected pore structure, it is easy to differentiate the interconnected porosity from the closed porosity. Also the proposed process suggests the unprecedented possibility of manufacturing method of three-dimensional structure of thermally sprayed ceramic coating.

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