Experimental studies are described that demonstrate that variation in plasma spray process parameters has a substantial effect on the fundamental mechanical, thermal, and physical properties of ceramic coatings. This property variation is shown to influence the behavior of the coatings under rig tests that simulate exposure in gas turbine engines. Illustrative examples are given to demonstrate the value of the designed experiment approach to understanding the coating process/coating behavior interaction. Finally, statistical process control methods are discussed and shown to be useful for identifying process control limits utilizing sophisticated in-process sensors.

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