It is known that the relative performance of thermal barrier coatings is largely dependent upon the oxidation properties of the bond coat utilized in the system. Also, the oxidation properties of diffusion-type bond coats (aluminides and their modifications) are functions of the superalloy substrate used in blade applications. Therefore, the performance of a given coating system utilizing a diffusion-type bond coat can significantly vary from one superalloy to another. Toward the objective of developing coating systems with more universal applicability, it is essential to understand the mechanisms by which the superalloy substrate can influence the coating performance. In this study, we examined the relative performance of yttria-stabilized zirconia/platinum aluminide coating system on alloys CMSX-4 and MAR M 002DS representing single-crystal and directionally-solidified alloy systems respectively using thermal exposure tests at 1150 °C with a 24-h cycling period to room temperature. Changes in coating microstructure were characterized by various electron-optical techniques. Experiment showed that the coating system on alloy MAR M 002DS had outperformed that on alloy CMSX-4, which could be related to the high thermal stability of the bond coat on alloy MAR M 002DS. From a detailed microstructural characterization, this difference in behavior could be explained at least partially in terms of variation in chemical composition of the two alloys, which was also reflected on the exact failure mechanism of the coating system.

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