chromia coating, fracture toughness, plasma spray, critical plasma spray parameter, critical depth


In this experimental study, chromium oxide powder was sprayed on a low-carbon steel substrate using the atmospheric plasma spray process. The current and standoff distances (SODs) were varied to study their effect on the fracture toughness of the coatings. Theoretically, as the arc current increases, the melting of the ceramic oxide should increase and this in turn should lead to the formation of a dense coating. However, it was observed that if the arc power is too high and because the particle size of the powder is small (approximately 30 µm), the particles tend to fly away from the plasma core. Similarly, an appropriate SOD should provide the particles with more melting time, thus resulting in a dense coating. On the other hand, a larger SOD leads to the solidification of the molten particles before the droplets can reach the substrate. All these effects may lead to substantial variation in the fracture toughness of the coating. The present paper attempts to correlate the plasma spraying parameters and microstructure of the coating with the fracture toughness and other primary coating properties.


Tsinghua University Press