Mechanical properties optimization of Cr3C2-NiCr coatings produced by compact plasma spray process
Chromium carbides are widely used as functional coatings on steel structures in high-end applications, from energy to marine and aerospace sectors thanks to their corrosion and wear resistance at elevated temperatures. In the present work, a low-power compact plasma spray (CPS) equipment was used to deposit Cr3C2-based cermet coatings on carbon steel substrate. Design of experiment was applied to select and optimize the spraying parameters, namely current, stand-off distance, scanning speed, plasma gas rate and powder feeding rate. ANOVA analysis was conducted to estimate the effect of the spraying variables on morphology and mechanical properties of the coatings and evaluate the optimal spraying condition. Dense and compact coatings were fabricated by using the CPS. By optimizing the processing parameters, coating hardness equal to approximately 600 HV and average thickness ranging around 600 μm were obtained, while the adhesion strength was approximately equal to 14 MPa. Intermediate phases of Cr carbides were produced by the dissolution of the primary Cr3C2 induced by melting and re-solidification of the particles. The presence of weaker carbide phase, inter-lamellae different features and porosity also caused the scattered hardness values observed in the coatings.
This project was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme under the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions grant agreement No. 754382. The authors also wish to thank “Comunidad de Madrid” and European Structural Funds for their financial support to the ACES2030-CM project (S2018/EMT-4319). The authors also would like to acknowledge the financial support received from the Spanish government AEI under Grant No. PID2020-115508RB-C22 (A3M).
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