Abstract Recent experimental investigations of reactive spray deposition of aluminum alloys have indicated that oxides could not be detected for atomization gas oxygen contents lower than 10%. In order to elucidate this behavior, an analysis of the oxidation kinetics during reactive spray deposition based on the Mott-Cabrera theory of oxidation is proposed herein. A linear growth law is obtained that indicates that the oxide growth rate decreases with decreasing temperature or oxygen pressure. Furthermore, the oxide growth rate is found to decrease faster at low oxygen pressure with decreasing temperature as well as at low temperature with decreasing oxygen pressure. Calculations of the width of oxide stringers as a function of oxygen content and superheat temperature based on this analysis are in good agreement with the experimental observations.