A solid oxide fuel cell is an electrochemical conversion device that produces electricity directly from oxidizing a fuel. It involves ionic transport and electrochemical reactions where the electrolyte and electrode properties play a major role in performance, along with a range of complementary materials that need to ensure equally relevant functions across the cell. The lifetime of such functional materials is expected to reach many thousands of hours with minimal degradation. This article is centred around the process development, optimization and scale up of a thin plasma sprayed ceramic barrier layer to mitigate long-term performance degradation of metal-supported solid oxide fuel cells. The evolution from the proof of concept in a laboratory environment to the scale up toward large scale manufacturing production is discussed. The challenges associated with minimizing application time and lowering cost while maintaining high coating performance at high yield are discussed. Empirical observations such as microstructural analysis and in-flight particle monitoring are used to gain understanding of the plasma spray process and guide its development for high-volume production. Results show how this effort has led to the reduction of the coating deposition time by 94% to enable large-scale manufacturing at high yield.

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