Thermal barrier coatings out of fully or partially stabilized zirconia offer a unique chance in gas turbines
to increase the gas inlet temperature significantly while keeping the temperature of the structural material of the component within conventional limits. The protection of combustor parts and transition pieces as well as of some stationary gas turbine parts however is state of the art. As a consequence of still insufficient reliability, the application for hot rotating parts is very limited. The introduction as a design element requires safe life within defined time intervals.
These depend on the overhaul andrepair intervals of the engines. For large land based industrial or utility gas turbines, for example, coating life between 25.000 and 30.000 hrs. is a minimum requirement. Premature failure of a coating by e.g. local spalling causes local overheating of the component with the consequence of its total destruction or even more expensive secondary damages. Life limiting is the corrosion rate at the ceramic-metal interface and the behavior of the coated system under transient operating conditions, where multiaxial strain and stress distributions are generated. Sufficient strain tolerance of the coating both under tensile as well as compressive conditions is required.
The properties of thermal barrier coating systems depend strongly on the structure and phase composition of the coating layers and the morphology of and the adhesion at the ceramic-metal interface. They have to be controlled by the process itself, the process parameters and the characteristics of the applied materials (e.g. chemical composition, processing, morphology, particle