Individual splats are the building blocks of any thermal spray coating. Near the coating-substrate interface, they affect coating properties like adhesion strength. This article examines the effect of substrate heating on droplet splashing. Nickel powder was plasma-sprayed onto a polished stainless steel substrate at various temperatures and the resulting splats were analyzed. Droplet splashing was observed experimentally for three different cases: low substrate temperature, high substrate temperature, and droplet-splat interaction. Mechanisms for splashing were explained with the help of computer-generated nickel droplet impacts. The article proposes that the jetting of molten metal is not triggered by the formation of a central splat but rather a solidified ring on the periphery of the splat. It was observed that, on substrates below 350 deg C, splashing is triggered by solidification at the edge of the spreading droplet. Interactions with previously deposited splats also cause droplets to splash.

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