Rights: © Copyright 2014. University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved. Published 29 April 2014 Download

Professor Margaret Hyland, from the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department at the University of Auckland, has focused her plasma spray-coating research on the role the substrate surface plays. By studying the way droplets impact, spread and stick, this work is aimed at improving some of the fundamental understandings of how different types of material adhere to each other.


The first and kind of most direct value from the research is that it’ll help us make better coatings. And it might help us make new coatings, so we might be able to make coatings we hadn’t thought about before. If we know how to make splats stick better to each other, we might be able to use them in ways that we didn’t use them before.

It gives us some fundamental understanding of how different types of materials stick to each other and especially how do ceramics and metals stick to each other, and there’s a real challenge with bonding ceramics to metals because they have very different properties. So this information that we’re learning – about how droplets impact and spread and stick – could be applied to any situation when you’re trying to get a ceramic to stick to a metal

The work that I do is about some of the really fundamental processes that are taking place in thermospray, and we’re able now to study those processes because we have the techniques available. We can analyse the top few layers of a surface, and not only that, we can dig down into it and understand the structures that we call buried interfaces.

I’m trying to understand some of the really basic processes that are occurring and then take that knowledge and apply it in some way.

Professor Margaret Hyland, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland
Dr Anh Tran, Effects of surface chemistry on splat formation during plasma spraying, University of Auckland, 2010
Holster Engineering Ltd, Tokoroa