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Optical Non-Destructive Condition Monitoring of TBC’s

[+] Author Affiliations
A. L. Heyes

Imperial College London, London, UK

J. P. Feist

Southside Thermal Sciences, Ltd., London, UK

X. Chen, Z. Mutasim

Solar Turbines, Inc., San Diego, CA

J. R. Nicholls

Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, UK

Paper No. GT2007-28114, pp. 323-332; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2007: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 1: Turbo Expo 2007
  • Montreal, Canada, May 14–17, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4790-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3796-3
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The paper describes recent developments of the thermal barrier sensor concept for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of thermal barrier coatings and on-line condition monitoring in gas turbines. Increases in turbine inlet temperature in pursuit of higher efficiency will make it necessary improve or upgrade current thermal protection systems in gas turbines. As these become critical to safe operation it will also be necessary to devise techniques for online conditions monitoring and NDE. The authors have proposed thermal barrier sensor coatings (TBSC) as a possible means of achieving NDE for thermal barrier coatings. TBSC’s are made by doping the ceramic material (currently yttria stabilised zirconia) with a rare earth activator to provide the coating with luminescence when excited with UV light. The paper describes the physics of the thermo-luminescent response of such coatings and shows how this can be used to measure temperature. Calibration data is presented along with the results of comparative thermal cycle testing of TBSC’s, produced using a production standard APS system. The latter show the durability of TBSC’s to be similar to that of standard YSZ TBC’s and indicate that the addition of the rare-earth dopant is not detrimental to the coating. Also discussed is the manufacture of functionally structured coatings with discreet doped layers. The temperature at the bond coat interface is important with respect to the life of the coating since it influences the growth rate of the thermally grown oxide layer which in turn destabilises the coating system as it becomes thicker. Experimental data is presented indicating that duallayered TBSC’s can be used to detect luminescence from, and thereby the temperature within, sub surface layers covered by as much as 500μm of standard TBC material. A theoretical analysis of the data has allowed some preliminary calculations of the transmission properties of the overcoat to be made and these suggest that it might be possible to observe phosphorescence and measure temperature through an overcoat layer of up to approximately 1.56mm thickness.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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