The unique wear protection properties of tungsten carbide metal matrix composite materials are resulting in their increasing use in the oilsand industry to combat severe low stress sliding abrasion and various types of slurry abrasion and erosion. Their successful application, mainly in bulk welding and spray coating forms, has extended component service lives, improved reliability and reduced maintenance costs. Increased use of tungsten carbide metal matrix composite hardfacing deposits in oil sands applications is the direct result of understanding carbide thermal degradation and the processes used to deposit these materials. Plasma transferred arc welding (PTAW) has proven to be an effective process for applying these materials. Current and future work on PTAW and other candidate processes to establish the optimum carbide hardfacing method will be reviewed.

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