A CoNiCrAlY-hBN/Polyester material has recently been developed for clearance control applications in gas turbine compressors that use titanium alloy blades. While engine tests serve as the final evaluation of the coating performance, quality assurance laboratories and production shops would rely upon the more readily available coating hardness values to predict performance. This paper will focus on the reproducibility of coating macrohardness with a plasma spray process. It is shown that plasma spray parameters affect the hardness of CoNiCrAlY-hBN/Polyester coatings by changing the level of polyesters retained in the coating and the volume percentage of metallic matrix. The correlation between hardness, retained polyester level and microstructure of these coatings is captured in a coating hardness map from which desired microstructure and polyester entrapment are determined. Based on the understanding of the correlation between coating hardness and microstructural features, the use of additional criteria other than hardness such as retained polyester level and non-metallic portion of the coating is recommended in order to assure the quality of the coating more effectively.

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