Tungsten Carbide (WC) thermal spray coatings have had increased acceptance in commercial aircraft applications driven by the desire to replace chromium electroplate due to environmental and economic considerations [1]. In order to confidently replace chromium electroplate by WC thermal spray coatings, evaluation of wear and fatigue characteristics of the WC thermal spray coatings is necessary. For WC thermal spray coatings to replace chromium electroplate in aircraft applications, the coatings must demonstrate wear and fatigue characteristics as good as or better than those of chrome plating. Previous research in this area has shown that the fatigue life of the WC thermal spray coatings can be improved by inducing compressive stresses in the coating. This paper compares the wear characteristics of several types of WC thermal spray coatings with those of chromium electroplate in sliding wear tests following the "block-on-ring" procedures described in ASTM G77 standard. Wear results are interpreted in terms of coating residual stresses and in terms of X-ray diffraction and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis.

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