Lanthanum zirconate (La2Zr2O7) was proposed as a promising material for thermal barrier coatings. At atmospheric plasma spraying (APS) of La2Zr2O7 a considerable amount of La2O3 can evaporate in the plasma flame, resulting in a non-stoichiometric coating. As indicated in the phase diagram of the La2O3-ZrO2 system, in the composition range of pyrochlore structure, the stoichiometric La2Zr2O7 has the highest melting point and other compositions are eutectic. APS experiments were performed with a TriplexPro-200 plasma torch at different power levels to achieve different degrees of evaporation and thus stoichiometry. For comparison, some investigations on Gd2Zr2O7 were included which is less prone to evaporation and formation of non-stoichiometry. Particle temperature distributions were measured by the DPV-2000 diagnostic system. In these distributions, characteristic peaks were detected at specific torch input powers indicating evaporation and solidification processes. Based on this, process parameters can be defined to provide stoichiometric coatings intended to show good thermal cycling performance.

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