Martensitic stainless steel (MSS) coatings with different vanadium (V) contents (0–1.0 wt%) by microalloying have been successfully fabricated utilizing a unique laser cladding technique. The microstructure and properties of the resulting MSS coatings, with and without element V addition, have been carefully investigated by various advanced techniques, including XRD, SEM, TEM, microhardness tester, universal material testing machine, and electrochemical workstation. It was found that the V-free coating was mainly composed of martensite (M) and ferrite (F), trace M23
N, while the V-bearing coatings consisted of M, F, M23
, and VN nano-precipitates, and their number density increased with the increase of V content. The V microalloying can produce a significant impact on the mechanical properties of the resulting MSS laser-cladded specimens. As the V content increased, the elongation of the specimen increased, while the tensile strength and microhardness increased firstly and then decreased. Specifically, the striking comprehensive performance can be optimized by microalloying 0.5 wt% V in the MSS coating, with microhardness, tensile strength, yield strength, and elongation of 500.1 HV, 1756 MPa, 1375 MPa, and 11.9%, respectively. However, the corrosion resistance of the specimens decreased successively with increasing V content. The microstructure mechanisms accounting for the property changes have been discussed in detail.
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