Rare-earth zirconates have been the focus of advanced thermal barrier coating research for nearly two decades; however, their lack of toughness prevents a wide-scale adoption due to lack of erosion and thermal cyclic durability. There are generally two methods of improving toughness: intrinsic modification of the coating chemistry and extrinsic modification of the coating structure. This study compares the efficacy of these two methods for a similar overall rare-earth content via the air plasma spray process. The extrinsically toughened coatings were comprised of a two-phase composite containing 30 wt.% Gd2Zr2O7 (GZO) combined with 70 wt.% of a tougher t′ low-k material (ZrO2-2Y2O3-1Gd2O3-1Yb2O3; mol.%), while a single-phase fluorite with the overall rare-earth content equivalent to the two-phase composite (13 mol.% rare-earth) was utilized to explore intrinsically toughened concept. The coatings were then characterized via x-ray diffraction, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy, and their performance was evaluated via erosion, thermal conductivity, thermal annealing (500 h), and thermal cycling. It was shown that the extrinsic method provided an improved erosion and thermal conductivity response over the single phase, but at the expense of high-temperature stability and cyclic life.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry