Today, powder particles diameter used for thermal spraying is generally comprised between 5 and 100µm with a preferred range around 40µm for APS applications. Actually, the future trends in plasma spraying are directed to the use of fine or ultrafine powders and the reduction of the steps between raw materials and coatings. So, the present paper investigates the way to use directly spray dried ceramic powders in suppressing the sintering stage. AI2O3 based powders were obtained by the spray drying process. By optimizing the parameters (slurry composition and injection as well as drying characteristics), a narrow grain size distribution was achieved. Chemical composition and shape of synthesized powders were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS). The crystallographic structure was identified by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Demonstration was made that it is possible to obtain coatings using directly spray dried ceramic powders. The plasma spray process parameters (such as current intensity, gas flow rate, powder feed rate and injection mode, cooling stage,...) have to be managed to achieve cohesive coatings. The structure and chemical composition of these coatings were studied. In this way, the direct use of spray dried powders appears as a promising way to realize ceramic coatings.

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