The use of polymer matrix composites [PMC's] in the gas flow path of advanced turbine engines offers significant benefits for aircraft engine performance, but their useful lifetime is limited by their poor erosion resistance. HVOF and flame sprayed polymer/cermet functionally graded coatings based on a polyimide matrix filled with varying volume fractions of WC-Co are being investigated to improve the erosion and oxidation resistance of polymer matrix composites. A study of the coating's effectiveness as erosion barriers was accomplished through a statistical analysis of the results of solid particle erosion testing of coated and uncoated PMC samples using a design of experiments [DoE] approach. Three coating systems and a control were evaluated in a randomized test matrix. The coatings were tested at room temperature and 250 °C, using an alumina erodent impacting the coatings at a speed of 100 m/s at angles of 20° and 90°. Erosion volume loss at 250 °C was approximately twice than at room temperature, but the maximum erosion volume loss did not exceed 0.30 mm3 at the elevated temperature. In general, as the angle of incidence of the eroding material increased from 20 degrees to 90 degrees the volume loss increased.

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