Thermal Barrier Coatings have been widely used in modern turbine engines to protect the nickel based metal substrate from the high temperature service conditions, 1600–1800 K. In this study, some of the failure mechanisms of typical Air Plasma Sprayed Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBC) used in after-burner structures composed of three major layers: Inconel 718 substrate, NiCrAlY based metallic bond coat (BC) and Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (YSZ) based ceramic top coat (TC) are investigated. Investigation of the cracking mechanism of TBC in terms of design and performance is very important because the behavior of TBCs on ductile metallic substrates is brittle. To this end, four-point bending experiments conducted in Kütükoğlu (2015) is analyzed by using the Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM). All the analyses are conducted with the commercial finite element software ABAQUS. Three different models with varying TC and BC thicknesses are studied under four-point bending. It is observed that multiple vertical cracks are initiated in the TC. Cracks initiate at the top of YSZ and propagate through the whole TC. It is observed that the average crack spacing increases with the increasing thickness of the TC. Numerical results are found to be consistent with the experimental results. In other words, the average crack spacing for three different models are similar with the experimental results.

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