Invar alloy (Fe – 36%Ni) is used in industrial applications which require high dimensional stability because of its exceptionally low thermal expansion coefficient. Purpose of this work is to enhance the performance of molds for the production of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components. Four different kinds of commercial powders were coated on an Invar substrate: Al2O3 - 12TiO2, Cr2O3 and ZrO2 - 8Y2O3 by Air Plasma Spray (APS) and WC - CoCr by High Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF). Metallographic microscopy observation and SEM analysis were carried out and microhardness and fracture toughness were evaluated by means of the micro - indentation method. Friction behaviour and wear resistance were evaluated in dry sliding conditions with Pin On Disk apparatus for not coated Invar substrate and for the different coated substrates. Chromium oxide and tungsten carbide coatings exhibited higher mechanical characteristics respect to the other coatings: chromium oxide had the higher hardness value and tungsten carbide the higher fracture toughness. Tungsten carbide coating had the lower average coefficient of friction and together the chromium oxide the lower wear mass loss and wear rate. Among APS ceramic coatings, Cr2O3 exhibited the best mechanical and tribological behavior while the HVOF cermet coating exhibited the best behavior among all the coatings.

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