Statistical Optimization of Reactive Plasma Cladding to Synthesize a WC-Reinforced Fe-Based Alloy Coating
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A new compound Fe-W-C powder for reactive plasma cladding was fabricated by precursor carbonization process using sucrose as a precursor. The application of quadratic general rotary unitized design was highlighted to develop a mathematical model to predict and accomplish the desired surface hardness of plasma-cladded coating. The microstructure and microhardness of the coating with optimal parameters were also investigated. According to the developed empirical model, the optimal process parameters were determined as follows: 1.4 for C/W atomic ratio, 20 wt.% for W content, 130 A for scanning current and 100 mm/min (1.67 mm/s) for scanning rate. The confidence level of the model was 99% according to the results of the F-test and lack-of-fit test. Microstructural study showed that the dendritic structure was comprised of a mechanical mixture of α-Fe and carbides, while the interdendritic structure was a eutectic of α-Fe and carbides in the composite coating with optimal parameters. WC phase generation can be confirmed from the XRD pattern. Due to good preparation parameters, the average microhardness of cladded coating can reach 1120 HV0.1, which was four times the substrate microhardness.
Keywordsin situ synthesis precursor carbonation process optimization quadratic general rotary unitized design
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51379070).
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