Three Ni-Cr-Si coatings were synthesized on the surface of copper by laser cladding. The microstructures of the coatings were characterized by optical microscopy (OM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS). According to the analysis results of phase compositions, Gibbs free energy change and microstructures, the phases of three coatings appeared were Cr3
(Coating 1, Ni-26Cr-29Si), Cr6
(Coating 2, Ni-10Cr-30Si) and Cr3
(Coating 3, Ni-29Cr-16Si). The crystal growth in the solidification process was analyzed with a modified model, which is a combination of Kurz-Giovanola-Trivedi (KGT) and Lipton-Kurz-Trivedi (LKT) models. The dendrite tip undercooling in Coating 2 was higher than those of Coating 1 and Coating 3. Well-developed dendrites were found in Coating 2. A modification of Hunt’s model was adopted to describe the morphological differences in the three coatings. The results show that Coating 1 was in the equiaxed dendrite region, while Coatings 2 and 3 were in the columnar dendrite region. The average friction coefficients of the three coatings were 0.45, 0.5 and 0.4, respectively. Obvious plastic deformation could be found in the subsurface zone of Coatings 2 and 3.
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