In this work, a novel HVOAF process fueled with ethanol was employed to prepare NiCoCrAlYTa coatings on AISI 304 stainless steel substrate. To be able to add compressed air into the torch, it was designed to add a second-stage combustion chamber. Thereafter, investigations were carried out to determine the influence of different compressed air flow rates on the evolution of the microstructure and properties of the resulting NiCoCrAlYTa coatings. The phase composition, microstructure, porosity, microhardness, bond strength and wear resistance of the as-sprayed coatings have been studied in detail. The results reveal that the compressed air flow rate has a substantial effect on the coating's microstructure. The addition of compressed air also contributes to reduce the degree of oxidation of the coating, which could be attributable to a decrease in the temperature of the flying particles and an increase in their velocity. Although the use of compressed air diminishes the coating's bonding strength, it still has some elevated strength. Furthermore, the injection of compressed air improves the coating's sliding wear resistance dramatically. SEM and EDS were used to investigate the sliding wear mechanism of the coating. Detailed correlation between the compressed air flow rates and the coating properties are elaborated to identify the coatings exhibiting optimum performances.

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