Tungsten is the prime candidate material for plasma facing components of future fusion devices. Plasma spraying, with its ability to coat large areas, including non-planar surfaces, with a significant thickness, is a prospective fabrication technology for components subject to moderate heat loads, e.g., the first wall of the Demonstration Reactor (DEMO). The functionality of such coatings is critically dependent on their adhesion to the underlying material. This in turn, is influenced by a variety of processing-related factors, chief among them being the state of the interface. In this study, the effects of two factors—surface roughness and the presence of thin interlayers—were investigated. Two different levels of roughness of steel substrates were induced by grit blasting, and two thin interlayers—titanium (Ti) and tungsten (W)—were applied by physical vapor deposition prior to plasma spraying of W by a Water Stabilized Plasma (WSP) torch. Coating adhesion was determined by a shear adhesion test. The structures of the coatings and the interfaces, as well as the characteristics of the fractured surfaces, were observed by SEM.
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