The piezoresistivity of flame-sprayed NiCoCrAlTaY on an electrically insulated surface of a steel substrate was investigated through cyclic extension and compression cycles between 0 and 0.4 mm for 1000 cycles and uniaxial tensile test. The sprayed NiCoCrAlTaY was in grid form with grid thickness of 3 mm and grid length of 30 mm while the electrical insulation was fabricated by flame spraying alumina on the surface of the steel. During mechanical loading, instantaneous electrical resistance measurements were conducted to evaluate the corresponding relative resistance change. Images of the loaded samples were captured for strain calculations through Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technique. After consolidation of the pores within the coating, the behavior of the flame-sprayed NiCoCrAlTaY was consistent and linear within the cyclic compression and extension limits, with strain values of approximately -1000 με and +1700 με, respectively. The coating had a consistent and steady maximum relative resistance change of approximately 5% within both limits. The tensile test revealed that the coating has two gauge factors due to the bi-linearity of the plot of relative resistance change against strain. The progression of damage within the coating layers was analyzed from its piezoresistive response and through back-scattered scanning electron microscopy images. Based on the results, the nickel alloy showed high piezoresistive sensitivity for the duration of the loading cycles, with little or no damage to the coating layers. These results suggest that the flame-sprayed nickel alloy coating has great potential as a surface damage detection sensor.

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