The most commonly used structural materials for blades and other high temperature components of gas turbines are nickel base superalloys. A TBC protection coating system consists of a top coat of yttria partially stabilized zirconia and an underlying bond coat, usually MCrAlY (where M stands for Ni, Co or a combination of both). MCrAlYs are normally deposited by the thermal spray processes: air plasma spray (APS), vacuum plasma spray (VPS/LPPS) or high velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF). The adhesion between the bond coat and the substrate, and therefore of the whole thermal barrier system, strongly depends upon the surface roughness. A high level of roughness generally denotes better adhesion, especially with the HVOF thermal spray process where it is a necessity. Generally the roughness is reached by means of grit blasting with an abrasive media; this results in a certain level of surface contamination due to the entrapment of abrasive particles. The aim of this work was to set up a new surface preparation process in order to obtain a completely clean surface with a suitable roughness, which can be coated afterwards with HVOF or VPS/LPPS thermal spray technology. The tests carried out by this process on turbine blades, coated with a HVOF system, led to obtaining a coating/base material interface without any contamination caused by the surface preparation.

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