Monitoring Local Strain in a Thermal Barrier Coating System Under Thermal Mechanical Gas Turbine Operating Conditions

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Advances in aircraft and land-based turbine engines have been increasing the extreme loading conditions on traditional engine components and have incited the need for improved performance with the use of protective coatings. These protective coatings shield the load-bearing super alloy blades from the high-temperature combustion gases by creating a thermal gradient over their thickness. This addition extends the life and performance of blades. A more complete understanding of the behavior, failure mechanics, and life expectancy for turbine blades and their coatings is needed to enhance and validate simulation models. As new thermal-barrier-coated materials and deposition methods are developed, strides to effectively test, evaluate, and prepare the technology for industry deployment are of paramount interest. Coupling the experience and expertise of researchers at the University of Central Florida, The German Aerospace Center, and Cleveland State University with the world-class synchrotron x-ray beam at the Advanced Photon Source in Argonne National Laboratory, the synergistic collaboration has yielded previously unseen measurements to look inside the coating layer system for in situ strain measurements during representative service loading. These findings quantify the in situ strain response on multilayer thermal barrier coatings and shed light on the elastic and nonelastic properties of the layers and the role of mechanical load and internal cooling variations on the response. The article discusses the experimental configuration and development of equipment to perform in situ strain measurements on multilayer thin coatings and provides an overview of the achievements thus far.


This material is based on work supported by the Fulbright Academic Grant (Grant No. 34142765), National Science Foundation grants (Grant Numbers OISE 1157619, and CMMI 1125696), and by the German Science Foundation (DFG Grant No. SFB-TRR103, Project A3). Use of the Advanced Photon Source, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory, was supported by the U.S. DOE under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.