High Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) method using propylene as a fuel gas was employed to spray alumina particles. In order to improve the coating characteristics such as the deposition efficiency and the hardness, three HVOF gun nozzles of varying geometry were designed and tested experimentally. The spraying process was also simulated numerically for each of the nozzle geometries to understand their effectiveness in influencing the velocity and temperature of the sprayed particles. The coating was characterized using optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), micro-vickers hardness test and X-ray diffractometry (XRD). Results showed that with the use of a convergent and divergent type gun nozzle, similar to that of a Laval nozzle, the extent of melting of the alumina particles could be increased. This was exhibited by an increase in the deposition efficiency to the extent of 45%. However, the sharp changes in the convergent and divergent nozzle geometry, resulted in fusion and agglomeration of alumina particles leading to spitting during the spraying process. The results clearly showed that alumina coatings of excellent hardness in the range of 920-1290 HV, with a relatively dense microstructure could be obtained in HVOF method irrespective of the gun nozzle geometry, provided the spraying parameters are properly controlled.

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