Thermally sprayed Cr2O3 coatings have been shown to provide excellent protection against wear in many engineering applications. These coatings are traditionally applied using air plasma spray technology; however, suspension high velocity oxy fuel thermal spraying (SHVOF) is a promising method to improve coating properties as this technique enables powder feedstocks too small to be processed by mechanical feeders to be sprayed, allowing the production of coatings with improved density and mechanical properties. Furthermore, the addition of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) to the liquid feedstock has been shown to improve the mechanical properties of SHVOF sprayed ceramic coatings. In this study, an aqueous based nanometric Cr2O3 suspension and a Cr2O3 suspension with 1 wt.% GNP, prepared via a proprietary process, were sprayed by a SHVOF thermal spray onto 304 stainless steel substrates. The microstructure of Cr2O3 and Cr2O3 + GNP coatings was analyzed using SEM and XRD alongside microhardness, fracture toughness and porosity investigations. Dry sliding wear performance was investigated using a ball on flat tribometer against an alpha alumina ball at loads of 16, 30 and 47 N. The GNP containing coating exhibited improved mechanical properties, however its response to sliding wear was very similar to the non-GNP coating.

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