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Coatings 2011, 1(2), 117-132; doi:10.3390/coatings1020117

Very Low Pressure Plasma Spray—A Review of an Emerging Technology in the Thermal Spray Community

1
Sandia National Laboratories, 1515 Eubank SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123, USA
2
School of Materials Engineering, Purdue University, 701 West Stadium Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
3
Sulzer-Metco, 1101 Prospect Avenue, Westbury, NY 11590-2724, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2011 / Revised: 11 December 2011 / Accepted: 17 December 2011 / Published: 20 December 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thermal Spray Coatings for Emerging Applications)
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Abstract

A fundamentally new family of thermal spray processes has emerged. These new processes, collectively known as very low pressure plasma spray or VLPPS, differ from traditional thermal spray processes in that coatings are deposited at unusually low chamber pressures, typically less than ~800 Pa (6 Torr). Depending upon the specific process, deposition may be in the form of very fine molten droplets, vapor phase deposition, or a mixture of vapor and droplet deposition. Resulting coatings are similar in quality to coatings produced by alternative coating technologies, such as physical vapor deposition (PVD) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD), but deposition rates can be roughly an order of magnitude higher with VLPPS. With these new process technologies modified low pressure plasma spray (LPPS) systems can now be used to produce dense, high quality coatings in the 1 to 100 micron thickness range with lamellar or columnar microstructures. A history of pioneering work in VLPPS technology is presented, deposition mechanisms are discussed, potential new applications are reviewed, and challenges for the future are outlined. View Full-Text
Keywords: Very Low Pressure Plasma Spray (VLPPS); Plasma Spray-Thin Film (PS-TF); Vacuum Plasma Spray (VPS); Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition (PS-PVD); Plasma Spray-Chemical Vapor Deposition (PS-CVD); Low Pressure Plasma Spray Thin Film (LPPS-TF®); Low Pressure Plasma Spray (LPPS) Very Low Pressure Plasma Spray (VLPPS); Plasma Spray-Thin Film (PS-TF); Vacuum Plasma Spray (VPS); Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition (PS-PVD); Plasma Spray-Chemical Vapor Deposition (PS-CVD); Low Pressure Plasma Spray Thin Film (LPPS-TF®); Low Pressure Plasma Spray (LPPS)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Smith, M.F.; Hall, A.C.; Fleetwood, J.D.; Meyer, P. Very Low Pressure Plasma Spray—A Review of an Emerging Technology in the Thermal Spray Community. Coatings 2011, 1, 117-132.

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