This paper describes the processing, characterization and the erosion wear response of a new class of metal-ceramic composite coatings deposited on metal substrates by plasma spraying. Coatings are developed on aluminum substrates using fly ash pre-mixed with aluminum powder in different weight proportions at various plasma torch power levels ranging from 9 to 18 kW DC. The coatings are characterized in terms of thickness, interface adhesion strength and deposition efficiency. Maximum adhesion strength of about 35 MPa is recorded with coatings deposited at 12 kW power level. It is noticed that the adhesion strength of fly ash coating is improved with pre-mixing of aluminum up to 15 wt.% in the feed material. To study the erosion wear behavior of the coatings, a plan of experiments based on the Taguchi technique is used to acquire the erosion test data in a controlled way. An orthogonal array and signal-to-noise ratio are employed to investigate the influence of the impingement angle, impact velocity, erodent size, stand-off-distance and the aluminum content in the feed stock on the erosion rate. The study reveals that the impact velocity is the most significant factor influencing the erosion wear rate of these coatings. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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