High cycle fatigue in blades is triggered by oscillating forces. Devices such as shrouds, that exploit dry friction, are commonly introduced in the blade assembly to reduce the blade vibrations. If severe wear occurs, the effectiveness of the dry friction damping decreases, vibrations increase, and the number of cycles to failure of the blade diminishes. Mating surfaces in shrouds undergo high loads combined with relative displacement of low amplitude. This is the typical condition known as fretting. Coatings are commonly applied on damping surfaces of turbine blades to mitigate wear.

This study investigates the wear mechanism of contact interfaces coated by Tribaloy® T-800, a coating greatly used in aeroengines. The experimental campaign was performed with a point contact test rig. The investigation was carried out using as test parameters temperature, normal load and fretting amplitude. Nine sets of parameters were analyzed at different test durations. Friction coefficients were computed using the hysteresis loops measured during the fretting tests. The worn surfaces were measured by an optical equipment based on focus variation and the volume losses were accurately measured. The wear region was observed by scanning electron microscopy at the end of each test.

At room temperature, the friction coefficient was found substantially independent of the normal load. The wear rates at room temperature were higher than at high temperature. Observation of the worn surfaces by scanning electron microscopy revealed several brittle cracks. The damage mechanism changes from brittle (at room temperature) to ductile (at high temperature). The volume loss as a function of the dissipated energy was found independent of the normal load, showing that dissipated energy is a better variable rather than the number of wear cycles to show results of wear tests.

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