Thermal spray technology keeps attracting several industries in both the manufacturing and repair sectors, thanks to its practicability and its reasonable processing time. Moreover, different kinds of materials can be successfully deposited to form coatings with potential excellent thermo-electro-mechanical properties. The resultant coating microstructure is completely different from the wrought powder material before the deposition process. In the case of metallic materials, the thermomechanical characteristics are quite dependent on the deposition conditions monitored from the spraying setup. One can mention gas temperature, impact velocity and angle, material combination, surface state, particles size, etc. Hence, one major factor which influences the final coating microstructural state is kinetic energy. In fact, in such processes where high velocity deposition is observed, intense grain refinement and sharp increase of the dislocation density are an outcome that is tightly related to high temperature and severe plastic deformation. Prediction of the mechanical properties of the produced coating is usually carried out using phenomenological models that describe very well the relationship between stress and strain under different conditions of temperature and strain rates. Most of these models fail, however, to describe the effect of the deformation mechanisms observed at ultra-high strain rates such as the viscous drag regime of dislocations or further the weak shock load regime, scenarios commonly observed in such processes. In the present paper, we present an enhanced physics-based model to describe the stress strengthening of metals upon impact and associated microstructure changes. We show that the model can accurately represent the desired effect of the dislocation drag. Modelling of the impact of a single copper particle onto a copper substrate is carried out to show the capability of the model to predict grain refinement and dislocation network modification.