Abstract

Effects of spray parameters, such as spray distance, SD, and substrate temperature, Ts, and post heat treatment on the structure and properties of plasma-sprayed zircon coatings were investigated. Zircon was totally decomposed by plasma spray; the coatings were composed of tetragonal zirconia (t-ZrO2) and amorphous silica (a-SiO2), because of the rapid cooling of molten particle right after the impingement to the substrate. Porosity of the as-sprayed coatings was highly affected by both of substrate temperature and spray distance. In all range of the spray distance which had been tried in this study, higher substrate temperature resulted in lower porosity of the coatings; the coating with porosity of 2% was obtained at Ts = 1573K with SD = 95mm. Porosity also decreased with decrease of spray distance. By the heat treatment at 1473K, t-ZrO2 transformed to monoclinic zirconia (m-ZrO2) and a-SiO2 crystallized to cristobalite, respectively. Cracks in the coating disappeared, and open porosity decreased. This can be attributed to sintering of SiO2 and phase transformation of ZrO2. After the heat treatment at 1673K, the coating was composed of ZrSiO4 with dispersed fine m-ZrO2 particle. Open porosity of all the coatings increased up to 10% at this temperature. This is because of volume shrinkage during the formation of zircon.

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