I recently found a link that addresses those specific questions. I believe that it mentions two types of plasma poweder, so I will make it a point to find it for everyone. Additionally, it mentions that Jet mechanics are the most qualified for this sort of application. I'd be interested to know what your experience has taught about the benefits of plasma coating.
Typically we do plasma coating for dimensional restoration - in other words, if an engine component comes out of a plane after being in service for a few years and upon inspection, we find that a diameter has enlarged by .015 (all hypothetical), we have the option of plasma spraying the diameter (if the dimension is within repairable limits set forth by the engine manufacturer) to build up the dimension. All the plasma processes we do leave behind a very rough and coarse finish (not to mention slightly uneven), so we give the parts a final machining to achieve a smooth finish and dimensional accuracy. Plasma spraying works great in some areas, not so great in others. It is wonderful for restoring a dimension that is under compressive loads. It's not so resilient to chipping, so plasma spraying areas that encounter scraping or some types of shear stress doesn't do so well. We have a booth set up for manual spraying and another booth that is set up with a Fanuc 6-axis robot arm for programmed spraying.
I've never heard of plasma spraying components for reduced thermal conductivity and/or friction, but I'm relatively new to the process, so me not knowing about it means nothing.
I had the transmission in my BMW 1000cc motorcycle teflon impregnated and that made a big difference 60mpg up from 40-50mpg - my brother did his Norton 750 Commando entirely pistons rings crank rods tranny chains and was getting 130mph out of it and had more throttle to go - normally they don't go that fast at all - was getting 70-75mpg.
JanGeo: I have several questions. First is how much $ did it cost? Second is how did you locate the place that did the work? Third, do you know of anywhere in the greater LA area who does similar types of work?