Thermally sprayed coatings are essentially layered materials and contain large numbers of lamellar pores. It is thus quite necessary to clarify the formation mechanism of lamellar pores which significantly influence coating performances. In the present study, to elaborate the formation mechanism of lamellar pores, the yttria-stabilized zirconia (ZrO2–7 wt% Y2O3, 7YSZ) splats, which have high fracture toughness and tetragonal phase stability, were employed. Interestingly, anomalous epitaxial growth occurred for all deposition temperatures in spite of the extremely high cooling rate, which clearly indicated chemical bonding and complete contact at splat/substrate interface before splat cooling. However, transverse spallation substantially occurred for all deposition temperatures in spite of the high fracture toughness of 7YSZ, which revealed that the lamellar pores were from transverse cracking/spallation due to the large stress during splat cooling. Additionally, fracture mechanics analysis was carried out, and it was found that the stress arose from the constraint effect of the shrinkage of the splat by locally heated substrate with the value about 1.97 GPa. This clearly demonstrated that the stress was indeed large enough to drive transverse cracking/spallation forming lamellar pores during splat cooling. All of these contribute to understanding the essential features of lamellar bonding and further tailoring the coating structures and performance.
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