WC-Co thermal sprayed coatings are mainly used for wear protecting functions in various industries, for which high velocity oxy fuel (HVOF) spray is considered to be the best suited process. However, WC-Co HVOF coatings still have some defects as compared with sintered bulk, such as decarburization of WC and porous structure. Recently, experiments of WC-Co coatings using warm spray (WS) and cold spray processes have demonstrated some improvements in reduction of these defects. In particular, WS process seems to be a more promising process for WC-Co coatings from the previous work. In this study, wear resistant functions of WC-12%Co coatings prepared by HVOF and WS were investigated by abrasion and erosion tests. In addition, in-flight particles were captured and their characteristics such as the amount of decarburization, crystal phase, particle strength and particle size distribution were investigated to clarify the difference between HVOF and WS processes. The result shows that the wear resistances of the WC-Co WS coatings are comparable or superior to those of the HVOF coatings, which can be attributed to the difference in the amount of W2C and coatings porosity revealed by the in-flight particles and the coating microstructure. The result of the in-flight particle analysis also indicates that wear resistance of WS coatings can be further improved by optimizing the powder shape and chemical composition.

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