There is a wide range of coating materials that meet a wide variety of different needs, with nearly all materials available in a suitable powder form.
Higher quality coatings such as flame or electrical arc spraying.
Many types of substrate material, including metals, ceramics, plastics, glass, and composite materials can be coated using plasma spraying.
The high temperature of a plasma jet makes it particularly suitable for spraying coatings of refractory metals and ceramics, including ZrO2, B4C and tungsten.
A broader powder particle size range can be used, typically 5-100µm, compared with HVOF spraying.
Plasma spraying is a well-established coating process that is widely available and well understood.
Air plasma spraying equipment is generally very expensive to buy and use.
It is a line-of-sight process, similar to all other thermal spraying processes, making it difficult to coat internal bores of small diameters or restricted access surfaces.
The plasma spray gun usually experiences rapid deterioration of the inner gun electrodes and other internal components. This leads to frequent replacement of gun electrodes, and the need for quality control to maintain coating consistency.
The high temperatures associated with the plasma jet can result in carbide decomposition or excessive oxidation when spraying in air, giving carbide coatings with lower hardness or metallic coatings with higher oxide levels compared with HVOF sprayed coatings.
The equipment is not suitable for manual operation and requires use of automated gun manipulators.