Developing effective heating systems to prevent ice accretion on the surface of wind turbine blades and aircraft wings is of great significance for extreme cold environments. However, due to high velocity impingement of water droplets and solid particles on the surface of these components, an appreciable degree of surface material degradation may occur. In this study, nickel-chromium-aluminum-yttrium (NiCrAlY) was chosen as a metal matrix material for a coating-based heating system. Pure ceramic powders, namely, alumina and titania, and a cermet powder, tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-12Co), were mechanically admixed with NiCrAlY powder and deposited to fabricate reinforced metal matrix composite (MMC) coatings. The powders were deposited on cylindrical low carbon steel bars by using flame spraying. The specimens were placed in a wind tunnel to conduct a comparative investigation of their erosive wear resistance under water droplet impact. A cold spraying unit was used for solid particle impact erosion tests. The erosive wear rates were quantified by measuring mass loss. The experimentally obtained results showed noticeably lower wear rate in NiCrAlY-WC-12Co and NiCrAlY-titania coatings compared to the other coatings. The results suggest that certain MMC coatings could be effectively employed to decrease the erosion rate of coating-based heating elements.

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