Incorporation of graphene nano platelets in suspension plasma sprayed alumina coatings for improved tribological properties
Journal article, 2021

Graphene possesses high fracture toughness and excellent lubrication properties, which can be exploited to enhance tribological performance of coating systems utilized to combat wear. In this work, suspension plasma spray (SPS) process was employed to deposit a composite, graphene nano-platelets (GNP) incorporated alumina coating. For comparison, monolithic alumina was also deposited utilizing identical spray conditions. The as-deposited coatings were characterized in detail for their microstructure, porosity content, hardness, fracture toughness and phase composition. Raman analysis of the as-deposited composite coating confirmed retention of GNP. The composite coating also showed good microstructural integrity, comparable porosity, higher fracture toughness and similar alumina phase composition as the monolithic alumina coating. The as-deposited coatings were subjected to dry sliding wear tests. The GNP incorporated composite coating showed lower CoF and lower specific wear rate than the pure alumina coating. Additionally, the counter surface also showed a lower wear rate in case of the composite coating. Post-wear analysis performed by SEM/EDS showed differences in the coating wear track and in the ball wear track of monolithic and composite coatings. Furthermore, Raman analysis in the wear track of composite coating confirmed the presence of GNP. The micro-indentation and wear test results indicate that the presence of GNP in the composite coating aided in improving fracture toughness, lowering CoF and specific wear rate compared to the monolithic coating. Results from this work demonstrated retention of GNP in an SPS processed coating, which can be further exploited to design superior wear-resistant coatings.

Raman analysis


Dry Sliding Wear test

Graphene Nano-Platelets

Suspension Plasma Spray



Satyapal Mahade

University West

Antonio Mulone

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Materials and manufacture

Stefan Bjorklund

University West

Uta Klement

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Materials and manufacture

Shrikant Joshi

University West

Applied Surface Science

0169-4332 (ISSN)

Vol. 570 151227

Disposal of graphene-containing coatings on large surfaces for various functional applications

VINNOVA (2018-03315), 2018-12-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Materials Engineering


Other Materials Engineering

Composite Science and Engineering

Areas of Advance


Materials Science


Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory



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