Low-pressure cold spray has been used as an innovative method to deposit metal matrix composite (MMC) coatings: boron carbide-nickel (B4C-Ni) and tungsten carbide-cobalt-nickel (WC-Co-Ni) composites. The coatings were studied using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction with Rietveld refinement, and acoustic emission-coupled four-point flexural test. Indentation fracture toughness tests were performed on the WC-Co-Ni coatings, only. The results showed that the composites had reinforcing particle volume fractions of 45.8 ± 0.3 vol.% and 22.7 ± 0.1 vol.% for the WC-Co-Ni and B4C-Ni MMC coatings, respectively. Flexural tests were used to evaluate the fracture strain of the composites. In these tests, the WC-Co-Ni composite failed by brittle facture at approximately 0.5% nominal strain. The B4C-Ni composite showed flexural behaviour similar to that of an unreinforced Ni matrix. These results suggest that there was insufficient B4C within the coating to affect significantly the ductile failure mode of Ni matrix. Post bending fracture analysis showed the presence of straight, continuous cracks on the WC-Co-Ni surface and the indentation fracture toughness of WC-Co-Ni was found to be 1.2 ± 0.2 MPa·m0.5. Discontinuous, random cracks were observed on the B4C-Ni surface. The quantification of these properties is essential in evaluating the performance of the low-pressure cold sprayings to determine their potential applications.

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