In order to characterize the performance of nanostructured coatings during wear, nanostructured and conventional titania (TiO2) coatings were sprayed via three different thermal spray processes: APS, VPS and HVOF. Three distinct types of wear resistance were evaluated: dry-abrasion and slurry-erosion at 30° and 90°. The ranking of the wear performance of the different coatings varied for the three wear tests, except for the HVOF-sprayed nanostructured titania. The HVOF-sprayed nanostructured coating exhibited the highest wear resistance in all three types of wear. The different angles of erosion (30° and 90°) did not cause a change in the wear performance (ranking) of the HVOF-sprayed nanostructured coating, as was observed for the other coatings tested. The superior mechanical performance of the HVOF-sprayed nanostructured titania can be explained by observing the microstructure of the coating via high magnification SEM. These observations show that the nanostructured zones in the coating microstructure act as crack arresters, thereby increasing the coating toughness. The wear scars for the different coatings were also analyzed via SEM and used to help understand the wear performance of the different materials.

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