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Modeling and design of a physical vapor deposition process assisted by thermal plasma (PS-PVD)

Abstract : Plasma Spray Physical Vapor Deposition (PS-PVD) aims to substantially evaporate material in powder form by means of a DC plasma jet to produce coatings with various microstructures built by vapor condensation and/or by deposition of nanoclusters. In the conventional PS-PVD process, all the material treatment takes place in a medium vacuum atmosphere, limiting the evaporation process or requiring very high-power torches. In the present work, an extension of conventional PS-PVD process as a two-chamber process is proposed and investigated by means of numerical modeling: the powder is vaporized in a high pressure chamber (105 Pa) connected to the low pressure (100 or 1,000 Pa) deposition chamber by an expansion nozzle, allowing more energetically efficient evaporation of coarse YSZ powders using relatively low power plasma torches. Expansion nozzle erosion and clogging can obstruct the feasibility of such a system. In the present work, through the use of computational fluid dynamics, kinetic nucleation theory and cluster growth equations it is shown through careful adjustment of system dimensions and operating parameters both problems can be avoided or minimized. Divergence angle of the expansion nozzle is optimized to decrease the clogging risk and to reach the most uniform coating and spray characteristics using the aforementioned approaches linked with a DSMC model of the rarefied plasma gas flow. Results show that for 100 Pa, the thermal barrier coating would be mainly built from vapor deposition unlike 1,000 Pa for which it is mainly built by cluster deposition.
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Dmitrii Ivchenko. Modeling and design of a physical vapor deposition process assisted by thermal plasma (PS-PVD). Materials. Université de Limoges, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018LIMO0099⟩. ⟨tel-02429205v2⟩

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