This paper presents a low-cost in situ diagnostic method that monitors and controls thermal spray processes using a CCD camera and a PC. The method, called particle flux imaging (PFI), records light emitted by thermal spray particles and the hot propellent carrier-medium in which they are conveyed. Brightness distributions corresponding to temperature and density profiles are represented by sets of ellipses that are compared in real time to a reference image. An image analysis algorithm adjusts relevant spray parameters based on the comparisons, maintaining a constant and unchanged spraying process.

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