The durability of plasma sprayed ceramic thermal barrier coatings subjected to cyclic thermal environments has been improved substantially by improving the strain tolerance of the ceramic structure and also by controlling the substrate temperature during the application of the coating. Improved strain tolerance was achieved by using ceramic structures with increased porosity, microcracking or segmentation. Plasma spraying on a controlled-temperature substrate also has been shown to improve durability by reducing harmful residual stresses. The most promising of the strain tolerant ceramic coatings have survived up to 6000 cycles of engine endurance testing with no coating or vane platform damage. In side-by-side engine tests, thermal barrier coatings have shown that they greatly reduce platform distress compared to conventionally coated vanes in addition to permitting reductions in cooling air and attendant increases in engine efficiency.

This content is only available via PDF.