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Non-Destructive Thermal Barrier Coating Spallation Prediction by a Load-Based Micro-Indentation Technique

[+] Author Affiliations
J. M. Tannenbaum, K. Lee, B. S.-J. Kang

West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

M. A. Alvin

U.S. Department of Energy, Pittsburgh, PA

Paper No. IMECE2010-37696, pp. 91-109; 19 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Fluids
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4446-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Currently, the durability and life cycle of thermal barrier coatings (TBC) applied to gas turbine blades and combustor components are limiting the maximum temperature and subsequent efficiency at which gas turbine engines operate. The development of new materials, coating technologies and evaluation techniques is required if enhanced efficiency is to be achieved. Of the current ceramic coating materials used in gas turbine engines, yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is most prevalent, its low thermal conductivity, high thermal expansion coefficient and outstanding mechanical strength make it ideal for use in TBC systems. However, residual stresses caused by coefficients of thermal expansion mismatches within the TBC system and unstable thermally grown oxides are considered the primary causes for its premature and erratic spallation failure. Through finite element simulations, it is shown that the residual stresses generated within the thermally grown oxide (TGO), bond coat (BC), YSZ and their interfaces create slight variations in indentation unloading surface stiffness response prior to spallation failure. In this research, seven air plasma sprayed and one electron beam physical vapor deposition yttria partially stabilized zirconia TBCs were subjected to isothermal and cyclic loadings at 1100°C. The associated coating degradation was evaluated using a non-destructive multiple partial unloading micro-indentation procedure. The results show that the proposed non-destructive micro-indentation evaluation technique can be an effective and specimen-independent TBC failure prediction tool capable of determining the location of initial spallation failure prior to its actual occurrence.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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