Abstract

Porosity regulates the deposit's properties and therefore methods for its control are of a vital industrial importance. Thermal spraying can produce deposits in a wide range of porosities by selection of a spray process itself, by selection of spray parameters, feedstock size and chemistry, etc. Manufacturing of deposits with controlled porosity may be difficult if the selection of spray processes and materials is limited. Special methods of deposition or/and subsequent post processing may be therefore necessary. These methods are studied in the presented work. All spraying was done with the water-stabilized plasma (WSP®) system PAL 160. Thick deposits and free-standing parts were sprayed from alumina, zircon, metal Al and Ni powders and their combinations. Porosity was characterized by number of techniques such as gas permeability, water immersion, MIP, SEM and SANS. Mechanical properties were characterized by the Young's modulus. Special methods of deposition, such as spraying of mixtures of ceramics and metals were successfully used. Either sandwiched-structures with alternating layers of ceramics and metals were sprayed (for the sealing purpose) or mechanical mixtures of ceramic and metallic feedstock were sprayed. Several post-processing methods were used to change porosity volumes or other materials characteristics. To increase the porosity the metallic phases were subsequently removed by leaching or by annealing at temperatures above the melting point of metal. A number of sealing materials (organic and inorganic) were used to seal the pores by infiltration at ambient or higher pressures. The results show, that significant changes of porosity volume and, especially, of the gas permeability are possible. Another tested method was annealing/calcination of deposits, which resulted in an increase or decrease of porosity, depending on deposit's chemistry and annealing conditions. Results show that all used post processings are capable of significant changes of deposit microstructure and that they may be successfully applied in practice.

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