Nanostructured and conventional WC/Co coatings were prepared by supersonic plasma spraying process respectively. The bonding strength, microhardness, tribological characteristics such as friction coefficient and wear resistance, microstructure and the phase ingredient were studied. The result of the XRD suggests that the coating contains low-carbon phase. TEM analysis reveals that WC phase with the dimension of about 100nm is dispersed in the nanostructured coating. Results of mechanical and tribological properties tests show that nanostructured coating has better performance in comparison with conventional one, with increase of about 40% in the bonding strength, 3% in the microhardness, 14% in the wear resistance, and a decrease of 0.06 in friction coefficient, respectively. After tribological properties tests, obvious plastic deformation was observed on the wear trace surface of the nanostructured coating, while microcrack existed on the surface of conventional coating. Superfine grain strengthening is the primary reason that enhances the performances of the coating.

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