The purpose of this study was to investigate the barrier efficiency of a thick thermal spray deposit on the alpha-titanium alloy, Ti-5Al-2.4Sn against hydrogen penetration. Therefore, a duplex coating has been applied by plasma spraying using a Sulzer Metco F4 gun. The selected duplex coating system consisted of a 0.1-0.2 mm thick tantalum bond layer and a chromium oxide top layer doped with 3 wt% titanium oxide. The achieved thickness of the top layer was about 0.6 mm. The coated specimens have been characterized with regard to bond strength, hardness and microstructure. Hydrogen charging experiments were performed in a Sievert's apparatus. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.