Hydroelectric turbines are strongly affected by cavitation and the damage it can cause to critical part surfaces and profiles. The study of thermal spray processes and materials is thus relevant to improving turbine performance. The main objective of this work is to evaluate the influence of fuel-oxygen ratio on tungsten- and chromium-carbide cermet coatings deposited by HVOF. Particle velocity and temperature were measured as were coating hardness, porosity, and cavitation resistance. Higher particle velocities were obtained at higher fuel ratios, producing harder, denser coatings with better cavitation resistance. Based on test results, the wear mechanism starts with the nucleation of the cavitation that occurs in the pores, resulting in the formation of craters and the eventual detachment of lamellae as indicated by the smoothness of the surface.

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