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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2009 Dec;9(12):7271-7.

Evaluation of the degradation of plasma sprayed thermal barrier coatings using nano-indentation.

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  • 1School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea.


In this study, the disk type of a thermal barrier coating (TBC) system for a gas turbine blade was isothermally aged at 1100 degrees C for various times up to 400 hours. For each aging condition, the thickness of the thermally grown oxide (TGO) was measured by optical microscope and mechanical properties such as the elastic modulus and hardness were measured by micro-indentation and nano-indentation on the cross-section of a coating specimen. In the case of micro-indentation, the mechanical properties of a Ni-base superalloy substrate and MCrAlY bond coat material did not significantly change with an increase in exposure time. In the case of nano-indentation, the gamma-Ni phase and beta-NiAl phase in the bond coat and top coat material show no significant change in their properties. However, the elastic modulus and the hardness of TGO show a remarkable decrease from 100 h to 200 h then remain nearly constant after 200 h due to the internal delamination of TBC. It has been confirmed that the nano-indentation technique is a very effective way to evaluate the degradation of a thermal barrier coating system.

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