Iron-based hardfacing alloys are widely used to counteract abrasive and impact wear of industrial components soil in, sand and mineral processing applications. These alloys show a high performance to cost ratio as well as a low environmental impact. The wear resistance of the components hardfaced with these alloys depends on achieved coating microstructure i.e. on the alloys chemical composition, the coating method and process parameters selected. The present work focuses on iron based hardfacing alloys with varying amount of chromium, vanadium, tungsten, molybdenum, boron and carbon deposited by plasma transferred arc (PTA) overlay welding. Weldability, hardness, abrasive and impact wear of the overlays are presented and interpreted through their microstructure. The performance of the iron based overlays is compared with that of nickel-based metal matrix composite coatings with tungsten carbide (MMC) commonly used for hardfacing of parts subjected to severe abrasive wear. The hardness of the iron based overlays investigated ranges between 60 and 65 HRC while abrasive wear is typically below 20 mm3 (ASTM G65, procedure A). Microstructure consists of different primary precipitated carbides or borides, a martensitic matrix and eutectic structures.

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