Effects of Rare Earth Elements on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of HVOF-Sprayed WC-Co Coatings
Rare earth has been widely used in materials manufacturing to improve hardness and toughness. In this paper, conventional, nanostructured, and rare earth CeO2-doped WC-12Co powders were sprayed by using HVOF spraying technology. Microstructure, hardness, elastic modulus, and fracture toughness of the three coatings were investigated. The results showed that nanostructured WC-12Co coatings possessed the densest microstructure and excellent combination of strength and toughness. The WC particles with the size ranging from 50 to 500 nm distributed uniformly in the nanostructured WC-12Co coating. The average free path of Co matrix in rare earth-doped WC-12Co coating was shorter than that of conventional WC-12Co coating. XRD results showed no obvious decarburization in all three coatings. The addition of rare earth could improve the mechanical properties of the coating compared with that without rare earth. The hardness value of nanostructured WC-12Co coating (12.2 GPa) was similar to that of rare earth-doped WC-12Co coating (12.2 GPa), which was 15.1% higher than that of conventional WC-12Co coating. The elastic modulus and fracture toughness of nanostructured WC-12Co coating were the highest, and that of conventional WC-12Co coating was the lowest.