WC-Co/copper coatings with 8 layers were fabricated by warm spray deposition in order to investigate the effect of ductile layer inclusion on their fracture behavior. Bending strength, work of fracture, and surface hardness of freestanding coatings were examined by three point bending tests after removal of the substrates. The multilayered samples showed nonlinear stress-strain curves due to cracks in the WC-Co layers and plastic elongation of the copper layers. The multilayered samples with lower volume fraction of copper showed even lower bending strength than the monolithic samples of WC-Co and copper and no beneficial feature in mechanical performance was found. On the other hand, the samples containing higher volume fraction of copper exhibited more than twice higher work of fracture and moderately better bending strength than the monolithic WC-Co coatings, while the surface hardness was almost identical among all samples instead of the monolithic copper. The ductility of copper layers and the plastic constraint by the intact WC-Co layers attributed to enhance their mechanical properties. It has been concluded that cermet/metal laminate coatings can be one alternative approach to further improvement of the mechanical properties of thermal sprayed cermet coatings.

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