Aluminum nitride (AlN) ceramics is characterized with its high thermal conductivity and chemical stability. However, it was impossible to fabricate AlN coatings by conventional thermal spray processes directly from AlN feedstock powder due to thermal decomposition of AlN during spraying. In the last decade we were apple to fabricate the AlN coatings through the reactive plasma spraying process (RPS) in the atmospheric ambient. This study describes the way to fabricate high thermal conductivity plasma sprayed AlN coatings. The thermal conductivity of the AlN coatings was investigated by laser flash method. The as sprayed coating had very low thermal conductivity (2.43 W/m.K), compared to the AlN value. It is attributed to presences of high oxide content (Al5O6N, γ-Al2O3 and α-Al2O3 phases), low density (2.32 g/cm3) and high porosity in the plasma sprayed coating (about 22%). Besides that, although the N2 gas flow improved the nitride content, the thermal conductivity decreased gradually. It is related to the further increase of the coating porosity and decreasing its density with the N2 gas. The influence of the process parameters on the thermal conductivity was investigated and to fabricate high thermal conductivity AlN coating adjusting the oxide content, the coating porosity and microstructure are the main factors. Very high thermal conductivity (about 95 W/m.K) atmospheric plasma sprayed AlN coating was fabricated. The coating consists of mainly AlN phase (more than 95% AlN), very small amount of oxide phases, low porosity (about 3%) with a sintered microstructure (nicked-shape sintered particles).

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