In wire drawing process, wear of rolls must be considered because of wear that influences the economics of the forming process. In this study, a nickel based matrix reinforced with WC was deposited by low cost powder welding method on low carbon steel substrates in order to determine the wear resistance of wire drawing rolls. Powder welding method includes, contrary to plasma and high velocity oxyfuel (HVOF) spraying methods, the advantages such as the single operation of powder application-fusion, simplicity, cheapness, and the ease of application. Blends of NiCrBSi and WC powders were prepared in weight proportions of WC of 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, and 60%, respectively. Wear performance of these coatings was investigated by the dry sliding wear experiments. The wear resistance of the metal matrix composite coatings is dependent on the amount of WC. From 40% to 60%, the increase of WC is very effective on the wear resistance. The coatings with 55% and 60% of WC were worn less than the other coatings. From 55% to 60%, further increase of WC was found not to be effective for the best wear resistance. The microscopic studies of WC particles and Ni-based matrix were characterized by the scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The SEM analysis on the worn surface of coated samples shows that the matrix is considerably worn while WC particles are not considerably worn at the beginning of the wear testing. Additionally, WC particles effectively provide protection for achievement of the wear resistance at advanced periods of the wear testing. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.