Suspension Plasma Spraying is a relatively new thermal spaying technique to produce advanced thermal barrier coatings. This technique enables the production of a variety of structures from highly dense, highly porous, segmented or columnar coatings. In this work a comparative study is performed on six different suspension plasma sprayed thermal barrier coatings which were produced using axial injection and different process parameters. The influence of coating morphology and porosity on thermal properties was of specific interest. Tests carried out include microstructural analysis with SEM, phase analysis using XRD, porosity calculation using Archimedes experimental setup, pore distribution analysis using mercury infiltration technique and thermal diffusivity/conductivity measurements using laser flash analysis. The results showed that columnar and cauliflower type coatings were produced by axial suspension plasma spraying process. Better performance coatings were produced with relatively higher overall energy input given during spraying. Coatings with higher energy input, lower thickness and wider range of submicron and nanometer sized pores distribution showed lower thermal diffusivity and hence lower thermal conductivity. Also, in-situ heat treatment did not show dramatic increase in thermal properties.

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