A new process has been developed to incorporate graphite particles in a stainless steel coating during its formation. Four means have been tested to inject the graphite particles outside the plasma jet and its plume : graphite suspension, a graphite rod rubbed on the rotating sample, powder injection close to the substrate with an injector or an especially designed guide. The latter process has been shown to be the most versatile and the best controllable one. It allows to incorporate uniformly between 2 and 12 vol % of graphite particles (2-15 µm) within the plasma sprayed stainless steel coatings. A 2 vol % seems to give the best results : a low decrease (6%) of the coating hardness and the best results in dry friction studied with a pin on disk set up. In this case, depending on the sliding velocity (0.1 to 0.5 m/s) and loads (3.7 to 28 N) the dry friction coefficient against a 100C6 pin is reduced by a factor between 1.5 and 4 compared to that obtained with plasma sprayed stainless steel.

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