A comprehensive approach is presented for facilitating the implementation of advanced plasma spray processing technology in the manufacture, repair, and refurbishment of industrial components. This approach employs an integrated methodology for combining several advanced computer-based methods, including: 1) an interactive multimedia-based education and training tool to effectively store and retrieve plasma spray processing information in a variety of formats; 2) an expert system to select plasma spray feedstock material for a specific coating function; 3) a one-dimensional plasma spray process model that allows simulation of plasma spray processing conditions for identifying operational envelopes for a selected feedstock material; 4) an interface fracture model for identifying appropriate acceptance criteria for reduced cracking along the coating/substrate interface; and 5) a set of computer-based nondestructive test methods for performing quality assurance and control. This comprehensive approach and the integrated methodology provide an advanced engineering tool for the selection, optimization and implementation of specific advances in plasma spray processing technologies. A major outcome is the reduced need for expensive and time-consuming trial-and-error methods in evaluating the application of plasma spray coatings for the manufacture, repair, and refurbishment of specific industrial components. This comprehensive approach and integrated methodology can be extended to include other thermal spray processing technologies as well.

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