The adhesion mechanisms involved in the cold spray coatings are not still well elucidated. The quality of the deposit does depend mainly on particles and dynamic characteristics (which result from nozzle type, nozzle-substrate distance, etc.). The present work is based on the study of particle-substrate and particle-particle interfaces in the tantalum-copper coating-substrate system. The content focuses on the influence of the oxygen content in the starting powder on interface features, consequently on coating properties. Tantalum powders with different oxygen levels were studied using SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) and EPMA (Electron Probe Microanalysis). Laser shock spallation of cold-sprayed Ta coatings was developed as a reliable and flexible process to achieve Ta spalls to be deposited at a high-velocity onto Cu targets. The velocity due to the laser shock could be controlled to be similar to that of particles in conventional cold spray. This results in Ta-Cu interfaces, the study of which was carried out to go into interface phenomena involved in cold spray, using TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) in particular. Results were compared to those obtained from laser shock spallation of Ta bulk specimens (i.e. made of a conventional Ta sheet). The role of powder oxidation on interface soundness was exhibited. Adhesion was shown to be all the lower as powder oxygen content was higher, using LASAT (“ Laser Shock Adhesion Test”) in addition to direct observation of interfaces. Results were exploited to discuss properties of the corresponding Ta coatings onto Cu, i.e. which were cold sprayed using powders with different oxygen contents.

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