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Ni-based alloy matrix submicron WS2 self-lubricant composite coatings were synthesized by Nd:YAG laser cladding in the present study. A novel high-energy ball milling
method was adopted to encapsulate nano-Ni onto submicron WS2 with an aim to prevent the mass loss of WS2 during laser cladding process. Microstructure and phases of
the laser-clad coatings were investigated to understand laser-cladding behaviors of two kinds of coating materials, i.e., Ni45WS2CaF2 and Ni60WS2 (nano-Ni-
encapsulated). The bare submicron WS2 and micron CaF2 were hardly to compose into Ni45 matrix coatings even if increasing the weight percentage of both WS 2 and
CaF2 from 7.5 to 17.5%. Ni-based alloy matrix submicron WS2 self-lubricant composite coatings were successfully synthesized through laser cladding of the Ni60WS2 (nano-
Ni-encapsulated) coating, since the high-energy ball milling of nano-Ni onto submicron WS2 significantly prevented the oxidization, reaction and vaporization of WS2 and
improved the interfacial compatibility between WS2 and Ni60 matrix. The friction coefficient of the laser-clad Ni60WS2(nano-Ni-encapsulated) coating was reduced to
about 0.36 in comparison with that of the laser-clad Ni45WS2CaF2 and Ni60 coatings (about 0.50.6) as well as the wear resistance of the laser-clad Ni60WS2(nano-Ni-
encapsulated) was three times higher than that of the laser-clad Ni60 coating, respectively.