The erosion performance of particle reinforced metal matrix composite coatings produced by co-deposition cold gas dynamic spraying

Peat, Tom and Galloway, Alexander and Toumpis, Athanasios and McNutt, Philip and Iqbal, Naveed (2017) The erosion performance of particle reinforced metal matrix composite coatings produced by co-deposition cold gas dynamic spraying. Applied Surface Science, 396. pp. 1623-1634. ISSN 0169-4332 (

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This work reports on the erosion performance of three particle reinforced metal matrix composite coatings, co-deposited with an aluminium binder via cold-gas dynamic spraying. The deposition of ceramic particles is difficult to achieve with typical cold spray techniques due to the absence of particle deformation. This issue has been overcome in the present study by simultaneously spraying the reinforcing particles with a ductile metallic binder which has led to an increased level of ceramic/cermet particles deposited on the substrate with thick (>400 µm) coatings produced. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the erosion performance of the co-deposited coatings within a slurry environment. The study also incorporated standard metallographic characterisation techniques to evaluate the distribution of reinforcing particles within the aluminium matrix. All coatings exhibited poorer erosion performance than the uncoated material, both in terms of volume loss and mass loss. The Al2O3 reinforced coating sustained the greatest amount of damage following exposure to the slurry and recorded the greatest volume loss (approx. 2.8 mm3) out of all of the examined coatings. Despite the poor erosion performance, the WC-CoCr reinforced coating demonstrated a considerable hardness increase over the as-received AA5083 (approx. 400%) and also exhibited the smallest free space length between adjacent particles. The findings of this study reveal that the removal of the AA5083 matrix by the impinging silicon carbide particles acts as the primary wear mechanism leading to the degradation of the coating. Analysis of the wear scar has demonstrated that the damage to the soft matrix alloy takes the form of ploughing and scoring which subsequently exposes carbide/oxide particles to the impinging slurry.