Abstract

WC-Co based cermets are extensively used in wear applications due to their hardness and toughness. Recent work has demonstrated the potential for using nanoscale constituents to improve the wear properties of these materials. In the present study, two WC-Co powders containing a nanosized WC phase were used to produce coatings by HVOF thermal spraying. These powders had similar properties except for the volume percent binder present: WC-8C0 and WC-12Co. The thermal spraying conditions were varied in order to identify their effect on the microstructure, properties and phase composition of the sprayed coatings. The as-sprayed coatings possess porosity values ranging between 1% and 2% and microhardness values (HV100) from 1150 to 1550, which are quite similar to values obtained for conventionally sized WC-based coatings. For all the coatings, phase analysis indicated significant degradation of the WC phase to produce W2C, W, CO3W3C and Co6W3C. For some spray conditions, even WO3 phase was found in the coatings. The JP-5000 HVOF system produces coatings with lower porosity, similar microhardness values and, more importantly, with lower WC degradation than the coatings produced with the DJ-2700.

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