Superplastic forming (SPF) is an advanced sheet manufacturing process typically used for low- volume, high-value products. SPF dies made from refractory castables have a lower production cost than metal dies, but their brittle nature is a limiting factor. This work investigates surface degradation mechanisms in ceramic dies and how they are affected by the application of thermal spray coatings. Among the more notable accomplishments of the study is the development of a test rig that simulates die-part interface conditions during superplastic forming and monitors die wear, making it possible to predict ceramic die lifetime for different coatings.

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