Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) could reduce the temperature of the turbine blades and allow them working at higher temperatures, which leads to higher durability and reliability of turbine blades, and improves engine performance and fuel efficiency. Recent researches shown that thermal barrier coatings have very good damping properties, which means it could also improve the high cycle fatigue (HCF) life of the turbine blades. Previous studies found that damping of air plasma spray (APS) thermal barrier coatings exhibit non-linearities (amplitude-dependent) due to its microstructures, which consists of several layers of splats with inter- and intra-microstructural micro-cracks. The main purpose of this paper is on the application of a bilinear cohesive interface model to simulate the microstructural features, the damage process and the contact friction between the interfaces of microstructural faults in APS ceramic topcoat. A representative volume element (RVE) model which coupled with the cohesive interface model is built and parametric relations, in terms of interface strength and stiffness, vibration amplitude and vibration cycles, are computed in this paper for understanding the effect of interfacial degradation, de-bonding, sliding, and contact friction between the interfaces of microstructural faults on the nonlinear damping properties. The calculation results could provide a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the observed nonlinear energy dissipation and damping properties in APS ceramic coatings.

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