Surface treatments and coatings are widely used to protect components from wear and corrosion. Of all available methods, thermal spraying is arguably the most versatile with regard to coating material and morphology. Surface roughness and porosity can be adjusted in a wide range depending on the requirements. However, as-sprayed coating surfaces inevitably exhibit a certain roughness necessitating post-treatment if a smooth surface is required. The surface roughness of thermal spray coatings is usually determined by the used powder fraction and the particles’ melting degree. Using wires as feedstock material allows for a certain influence on the particle size distribution by adjusting process parameters. In this study, the influence of nozzle geometry and atomizing gas pressure on coating quality, surface roughness and cost-efficient post-treatments of wire-arc sprayed Fe-based alloys with a wide hardness-range is investigated. To allow for easy transfer to real components, the sample geometry is based on real world examples of coatings for new components and repair of worn parts. Using adapted process parameters and air-flow, the surface roughness could be decreased to allow for a less time-consuming post-treatment by grinding. Especially in repair coatings for large area applications requiring a smooth surface finish, significant runtime and cost reductions are feasible.

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