A novel powder modification method based on the simultaneous softening and agglomeration of steel powders via heat treatment in a rotary tube furnace has been investigated as a promising way to improve H13 tool steel powder cold sprayability. By adjusting starting powder size and shape as well as heat treatment conditions (maximum temperature; cooling rate and heat treatment atmosphere); cold spray of H13 powder went from virtually no deposition to the production of dense; sound and thick deposits with a powder deposition efficiency of 70%. Powder agglomeration; surface state; microstructure evolution and softening are identified as key factors deter-mining the powder deposition efficiency and resulting deposit microstructure.

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