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The ceramic coating found inside of the Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition (PS-PVD) at NASA's Glenn Research Center is made when ceramic powder meets plasma flame. The flame vaporizes the powder, as seen in the photograph above, and then condenses it.

The device seen here is the best of the best: NASA's PS-PVD can make super thin ceramic coatings that are used in high efficiency engines. "The PS-PVD rig uses a system of vacuum pumps and a blower to remove air from the chamber, reducing the pressure inside to a fraction of normal atmospheric pressure," NASA explained. "The plasma flame is extremely hot and reaches 10,000 degrees Celsius. Ceramic powder is introduced from the torch into the plasma flame. The plasma vaporizes the ceramic powder, which then condenses 5 feet away from the torch onto the component to form the ceramic coating."

The PS-PVD device at NASA's Glenn Research Center is one of only two such facilities anywhere in the country.

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Image: NASA.

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