Abradable coatings are located on the stationary parts of gas turbines, in front of blades, which cut a track in them. This has to be achieved with minimum wear of the blades, in order to control the over-tip leakage. These coatings are generally deposited by thermal spraying of composite powders comprising a metal base, a polymer filler generating porosities and a dislocator such as hBN. The very demanding properties are nowadays adjusted using rig tests, where samples are rubbed by the contact of a dummy, simulating actual working conditions in an aircraft engine. Several types of behaviour are usually described, but few numerical data are produced from these tests. Only the blade wear (or metal transfer) is generally measured. As the understanding of contact phenomena is fundamental for the development of predictive models allowing the design of more performing materials, a comprehensive characterization process of the rub path was developed. The study was based on a topological survey made by laser profilometry, giving three-dimensional maps. These maps were then processed by image analysis and several parameters were computed, like surface roughness and parameters giving information on the shape and orientation of the holes or grooves in the rubbed surface of the samples.

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