Design of Microstructures in Thermal Barrier Coatings - A Modelling Approach
Licentiate thesis, 2013

Plasma sprayed Thermal Barrier Coating systems (TBCs) are commonly used for thermal protection of components in modern gas turbine application such as power generation, marine and aero engines. The material that is most commonly used in these applications is Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (YSZ) because of this ceramic‘s favourable properties, such as low thermal conductivity, phase stability to high temperature, and good erosion resistance. The coating microstructures in YSZ coatings are highly heterogeneous, consisting of defects such as pores and cracks of different sizes which determine the coating‘s final thermal and mechanical properties, and the service lives of the coatings. Determination of quantitative microstructure–property correlations is of great interest as experimental procedures are time consuming and expensive. This objective of this thesis work was to investigate the relationships between coating microstructure and thermal-mechanical properties of TBCs, and to utilise these relationships to design an optimised microstructure to be used for next generation TBCs. Simulation technique was used to achieve this goal. Important microstructural parameters influencing the performance of TBCs were identified and coatings with the identified microstructural parameters were designed, modelled and experimentally verified. TBCs comprising of large globular pores with connected cracks inherited within the coating microstructure were shown to have significantly enhanced performance. Low thermal conductivity, low Young‗s modulus and high lifetime were exhibited by these coatings. The modelling approach described in this work can be used as a powerful tool to design new coatings as well as to achieve optimised microstructures.


thermal conductivity

Young‘s modulus


finite element modelling


thermal barrier coatings

F127, University West, Trollhättan
Opponent: Prof. Robert Vaβen


Mohit Gupta

Chalmers, Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Materials Technology

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering

Technical report - Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology: 81/2013

F127, University West, Trollhättan

Opponent: Prof. Robert Vaβen

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