Calibration of a two-color imaging pyrometer and its use for particle measurements in controlled air plasma spray experiments
Advances in digital imaging technology have enabled the development of sensors that can measure the temperature and velocity of individual thermal spray particles over a large volume of the spray plume simultaneously using imaging pyrometry (IP) and particle streak velocimetry (PSV). This paper describes calibration, uncertainty analysis, and particle measurements with a commercial IP-PSV particle sensor designed for measuring particles in an air plasma spray (APS) process. Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) and molybdenum powders were sprayed in the experiments. An energy balance model of the spray torch was used to manipulate the average particle velocity and temperature in desired ways to test the response of the sensor to changes in the spray characteristics. Time-resolved particle data were obtained by averaging particle streaks in each successive image acquired by the sensor. Frame average particle velocity and temperature were found to fluctuate by 10% during 6 s acquisition periods. These fluctuations, caused by some combination of arc instability, turbulence, and unsteady powder feeding, contribute substantially to the overall particle variability in the spray plume.