In this study, ZrN coatings are applied on glass and carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composite materials by magnetron sputtering method to gain an improved understanding of the solid particle erosion (SPE) wear resistance. The tests were carried out by selecting two different impact velocities (34, 53 m/s), four different impingement angles (30°, 45°, 60°, 90°) and two different abrasive (SiO2) particle sizes (approximate 250, 500 m). The thickness of ZrN coating material was 0.15 m. Protective coatings produced by using Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) method can increase the life time of the components. All test specimens regardless of their various parameter properties exhibit maximum erosion rates at 45 impingement angle and thus exhibiting similar behavior as that observed for semi ductile materials. Optic microscopic views were performed on the surfaces in order to characterize the erosion mechanism. The erodent particles of the both coating layer and composite matrix were found of main role in governing the wear progression. The measured erosion rates were sensitively correlated with the material removal process in order to explain the changes within the coated interfaces. Moreover, an erosion test facility at room temperature and Taguchi’s orthogonal arrays were used for experimentation. The expression derived from the results of Taguchi experimental design is proposed as a predictive equation for estimation of erosion rate of these composites. It is demonstrated that the predicted results from this equation are consistent with the experimental observations. Finally, an optimal parameter combination was determined, which led to minimization of erosion rate (ER).
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