The thermal history of hot surfaces is of great practical importance, but very hard to measure. Thermal indicating paints offer one possible and practical way, but they have many disadvantages. A novel concept for the utilisation of phosphorescent coatings as thermal history sensors has been proposed by Feist et al. [1] in 2007. These phosphor coatings undergo irreversible changes when exposed to high temperatures that affect their light emission properties. A subsequent off-line analysis of the emission at room temperature can reveal the temperature history of the coating. In this paper, an investigation of the amorphous-to-crystalline change of Y2SiO5: Tb is reported and used to provide a proof of concept for a phosphorescent thermal history sensor. The phosphor powder was calcined at different temperatures, and characterised using photoluminescence spectroscopy. A calibration curve was generated from the measurements and is presented and discussed.

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