Infrared thermography was used to record thermal profiles during friction surfacing. Thermal profiles for different sets of consumable rod/substrates (tool steel/steel; copper/steel and copper/copper) were recorded and analyzed. The thermal profiles showed distinct stages of plastic deformation with respect to temperature. The mechanism of bonding or no-bonding was discussed based on thermal profile data. It was found that a metallurgically bonded coating can be obtained if the flow stress of the plasticized material is comparable with the localized stress developed due to axial loading. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.All rights reserved.