The process of roughening the surfaces by grit blasting prior to coating them using thermal spray techniques is very important to obtain consistently high tensile bond strength between the coating and the substrate. The available literature on the influence of grit-blasting parameters in the case of detonation spray or HVOF coatings is quite limited. The present study aims to study the influence of gritblasting pressure and alumina grit size on the roughening of the mild steel substrate, the resulting effect on the roughness of Cu, Al 2O 3, and WC-12Co coatings deposited by detonation spray coating and also on the tensile bond strengths of these coatings. Toward the above purpose, the velocity of the alumina grits have been experimentally measured using a high-speed imaging system and the tensile bond strength of the coatings have been experimentally obtained using the pin type test. The results from the above experiments point to the importance of not only the roughness of the grit-blasted mild steel substrate but also the roughness of the coatings subsequently deposited in determining the magnitude of the bond strength. © ASM International.