Abstract

Many components in helicopter dynamics systems depend on hard, wear resistant coatings for reliable performance. Component replacement times are currently limited by performance of these coatings in many cases. Thermal spray coatings have been evaluated for these applications to replace nickel and chromium electroplate. The effect of coatings on fatigue strength is quantified by a strain limit concept to reduce test requirements during development phase. Full scale bench testing and coupon wear testing were conducted to reveal large improvement in sliding and fretting wear resistance. A fine porosity network in thermal spray coatings, high hardness and high fatigue strength are shown to be the main contributors to improved wear performance. Thermal spray coatings also exhibited enhanced corrosion resistance in salt fog and crevice corrosion conditions. These data permitted implementation on several critical helicopter components.

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