The complexity of many components being coated in the aircraft industry today makes the traditional trial and error approach to obtain uniform coatings inadequate. To reduce programming time and further increase process accuracy a more systematic approach to develop robot trajectories is needed. In earlier work, a mathematical model was developed to predict coating thickness for thermal spray deposition on rotating objects with rotationally invariant surfaces. The model allows for varying spray distance and spray direction but is simple enough to give very short simulation times. An iterative method for robot feed optimization to obtain uniform coatings was also proposed. Currently, the use of the model in engineering practice is being evaluated. A MATLAB implementation of the model has been integrated with a commercial off-line programming system, giving a powerful and efficient tool to predict and optimize coating thickness. Simulations and experimental verifications are presented for two zirconia plasma sprayed parts.

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