Water droplet erosion (WDE) is a well-known phenomenon. This type of erosion is due to the impingement of water droplets of several hundred microns to a few millimeters size at velocities of hundreds of meters per second on the edges and surfaces of components. The solution to this problem is in high demand especially for the moving blades of gas turbines’ compressors and those operating at the low-pressure (LP) end of steam turbines. Thermal sprayed tungsten carbide based coatings have been the focus of many studies and are industrially accepted for a multitude of wear and erosion resistance applications. The present work studies the microstructural, phase analysis and mechanical properties and their effects on water droplet erosion resistance of such coatings deposited with high velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) and high velocity air fuel (HVAF) processes. The feed nano-agglomerated tungsten carbide-cobalt powders are in either sintered or non-sintered conditions. The WDE tests were performed using 0.4 mm water droplets at 300 m/s impact velocity. The study shows promising results for this cermet (better than the Ti6Al4V bulk material) as WDE resistant coatings when deposited using HVOF or HVAF processes under optimum conditions.

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