Surface quality lifetime and wear resistance of protective coatings can be improved by decreasing carbide grain size from submicron to nanoscale. In this study, experimental WC-CoCr powders were manufactured via novel powder manufacturing approach using water-soluble raw materials. Produced powders were sprayed with the High-Velocity Air-Fuel (HVAF) spray process to control the particle temperature and to avoid in-flight decomposition of the nanocarbides. As a result, dense and wear resistant coatings with nanosized carbides were produced. Reference coatings were sprayed using commercial sub-micron WC-CoCr powder to compare the properties of the experimental coatings to the current state-of-the-art. Phase composition and microstructural characterization of the coatings were carried out with X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy, respectively. Mechanical properties were studied by using microhardness tester, as well as rubber wheel abrasion and cavitation erosion wear tests. The wear surfaces were characterized after the abrasion and cavitation erosion tests to understand the effect of nano-carbides on degradation mechanisms. Coatings with the nanosized carbides in the structure showed excellent mechanical properties in wear testing, and even outperformed reference coatings in cavitation erosion test. Based on the obtained results, these novel nano-carbide coatings are promising alternatives for demanding applications in which better surface quality lifetime is vital.

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