High velocity oxy-fuel spraying was used to develop a near-nanocrystalline coating from a duplex Co coated WC-17Co powder feedstock. A microstructural and mechanical property characterization of the coating with a similar microcrystalline coating of the same composition was made. X-ray diffraction analysis showed less decarburization of the nanocrystalline coating and a more homogeneous coating structure than the microcrystalline coating produced under the same spraying conditions. The mechanical assessment of the coatings was performed using microhardness and indentation fracture toughness measurements. The abrasive wear resistance was determined using the ASTM G65-04 dry-sand rubber wheel test. The results showed that the hardness of the near-nanocrystalline coating was 25% greater than that of the microcrystalline coating and a sixfold increase in the abrasive wear resistance was also recorded for the near-nanocrystalline coating. Examination of the worn surfaces using atomic force microscopy after abrasive testing showed a smoother surface roughness in the near-nanocrystalline coating than that of the microcrystalline coating surface. The increase in fracture toughness of the near-nanocrystalline coating prevented brittle fracture of the coating surface.

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