Thermal spraying of silicon nitride has been considered impossible because the high temperatures involved lead inevitably to decomposition/oxidation of the material. To address these issues, improved silicon nitride-based powders were developed, two of which have been tested as reported in this paper. The powders were applied using low pressure plasma spraying (LPPS) and the resulting coatings characterized based on microhardness, adhesion, and cohesion strength. Phase transformations of the powders during spraying were also investigated and preliminary optimization strategies by statistical variation of plasma spray parameters were tested.

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