In the thermal spraying process the quality of the produced coating is determined by the state of the particles before they impact on the substrate[l]. For the spray particle diagnostics a new method is offered by the development of the Particle-Shape-Imaging (PSI) technique. This method is intended for the analysis of size and shape of individual particles within the plasma jet. The method is based on telemicroscopic imaging of the particle shades. Similar to the Laser-Doppler-Anemometry a cw laser beam is split into two beams of equal intensity, which are superimposed in the focal plane of a Long-Distance-Microscope. The detection system consists of a CCD camera with a Micro-Channel-Plate intensifier allowing exposure times of few nanoseconds. When a particle passes the measuring volume exactly in the focal plane, the two laser beams generate individual shades, which congruently superimpose on the CCD Chip in the image plane of the telemicroscope. If a particle passes the measuring volume not exactly in the focal plane, the two generated shades are separated in the image plane. By this effect the position of the particle relatively to the focal plane can be measured. From the area and the contours of the shades, particles can be classified regarding size and form. Corresponding distributions of the particles within the plasma jet as well as changes of the particle form in the melting process can be determined.

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