Microstructure and failure modes during scratch testing of laser cladded WC-NiCrBSi coatings with spherical and angular carbides

Arash Ghabchi (Corresponding Author), M. Rombouts, Kenneth Holmberg, R. Persoons

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Laser cladded coatings have been used extensively to extend the service life of components exposed to severe abrasive wear. One of the main wear resistant materials used in laser cladding is ceramic–metallic composite. Despite extensive use of this class of material, there is very limited knowledge regarding mechanical degradation mechanisms, such as cracking and plastic deformation, under different wear conditions. In this investigation a mixture of nickel alloy and tungsten carbide powders were used to deposit the coating. Two types of tungsten carbide powders with spherical and angular carbides were employed. The microstructures of the coatings were analysed thoroughly by optical microscopy, electron probe microanalysis and wavelength dispersive spectrometry. Failure and cracking mechanisms of laser cladded coatings under normal and tangential loading were systematically investigated using scratch testing. In the nickel alloy matrix, fine mixed secondary carbides were formed due to partial dissolution and formation of the secondary tungsten carbide during laser cladding. These secondary carbides were rich in chromium, tungsten and nickel and had a blocky and/or bar-like shape. Failure mechanisms associated with scratch testing were dependent on the microstructure and carbide morphology, applied stress and location of carbide particles with regard to the scratch groove. Owing to the high binder mean free path between the carbide particles, plastic deformation of the binder was the dominant failure mechanism. Additionally, partial or whole fragmentation of carbides, carbide/binder interface cracking and limited binder fracture were observed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-20
    JournalTribology: Materials, Surfaces & Interfaces
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • coating
    • laser cladding
    • metal matrix composite
    • scratch testing


    Dive into the research topics of 'Microstructure and failure modes during scratch testing of laser cladded WC-NiCrBSi coatings with spherical and angular carbides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this