Thermal spray deposited Zirconium oxide (or Zirconia, ZrO2) is used in several industrial sectors for various purposes: as thermal barrier for turbine blades, as wear and corrosion resistant coating in industrial applications as well as biomedical applications. This paper reports the results of a study aimed at determining the relation between the plasma spray process conditions and the coating properties. A 24-1 fractional factorial Design of Experiments has been used and the coatings have been characterised in terms of chemical composition, crystal lattice structure and mechanical properties (morphology, porosity, roughness, hardness). Coatings with different characteristics have been obtained depending on the spray parameters combination. We found that it is possible to vary the spraying parameters in such a way to obtain dense, compact Yttria Partially Stabilised ZrO2 deposits which can be useful as wear and corrosion resistant coatings. In other conditions less dense and more porous layers can be obtained, useful for thermal barrier applications.

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