Nanostructured WC-Co and WC-Co-Al coatings, with about 300-mu m as-deposited coating thickness, were deposited by high velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) spraying. Agglomerated nanostructured cermet powders produced by the Mechanomade (R) process was used for HVOF spraying. Dense and well-adherent coatings with crystal sizes below 30 nm were deposited on stainless steel 304 substrate. Porosity was less than 5% and the bond strength with the substrate was around 60 MPa. Experimental data on friction, wear, and abrasion resistance revealed that nanostructured WC-Co based coatings containing some Al as alloying element, exhibit improved tribological characteristics in comparison to nanostructured and micron-sized WC-Co coatings. This was attributed to a carbide particle distribution within the coating revealed by SEM, the absence of brittle W2C-like phases revealed by XRD, and the presence of Al at particle/matrix boundaries revealed by TEM. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.