Higher Temperature Thermal Barrier Coatings with the Combined Use of Yttrium Aluminum Garnet and the Solution Precursor Plasma Spray Process
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Gas-turbine engines are widely used in transportation, energy and defense industries. The increasing demand for more efficient gas turbines requires higher turbine operating temperatures. For more than 40 years, yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) has been the dominant thermal barrier coating (TBC) due to its outstanding material properties. However, the practical use of YSZ-based TBCs is limited to approximately 1200 °C. Developing new, higher temperature TBCs has proven challenging to satisfy the multiple property requirements of a durable TBC. In this study, an advanced TBC has been developed by using the solution precursor plasma spray (SPPS) process that generates unique engineered microstructures with the higher temperature yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) to produce a TBC that can meet and exceed the major performance standards of state-of-the-art air plasma sprayed YSZ, including: phase stability, sintering resistance, CMAS resistance, thermal cycle durability, thermal conductivity and erosion resistance. The temperature improvement for hot section gas turbine materials (superalloys & TBCs) has been at the rate of about 50 °C per decade over the last 50 years. In contrast, SPPS YAG TBCs offer the near-term potential of a > 200 °C improvement in temperature capability.
KeywordsCMAS resistance erosion resistance plasma spray thermal barrier coatings thermal cycling yttrium aluminum garnet
This research is supported by the US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Lab through the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program award DE-SC0007544, program manager Dr. Patcharin Burke. The authors also would like to thank Prof. Douglas Wolfe at Penn State University for the erosion testing and discussion, and Dr. Balakrishnan Nair from HiFunda LLC for helpful discussion and suggestions.
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