The thermal spray process melts powder at very high temperatures and propels the molten material to the substrate to produce a coherent deposit. This heating produces a certain amount of vaporization of the feedstock. Upon exiting the plasma plume the fast cooling conditions lead to condensation of the vapor. An electrical low pressure impactor was used to monitor the concentration of ultra-fine particles at various radial and axial distances. Metal, namely iron powder, showed very high concentration levels which increase with distance. Ultra-fine particles from ZrO2-8Y2O3 reached a peak concentration at 6 cm. Use of an air barrier during spraying decreases the population of ultra-fine particles facilitating the production of a stronger coating.

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