Durable aluminate toughened zirconate composite thermal barrier coating (TBC) materials for high temperature operation

Michael P. Schmitt, Jamesa L. Stokes, Amarendra K. Rai, Andrew J. Schwartz, Douglas E. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Research on advanced thermal barrier coating (TBC) materials capable of operating beyond 1200°C has primarily focused on the rare earth zirconate pyrochlores, particularly gadolinium zirconate (Gd2Zr2O7 – GZO). The drawback of this material is a significant reduction in durability due to a low fracture toughness. This study investigates utilization of a thermodynamically compatible gadolinia alumina perovskite (GdAlO3 – GAP) toughening phase to improve the durability of GZO. Dense pellets were fabricated to assess the material properties with minimal microstructural influence. Thermal stability, elastic modulus, hardness, indentation fracture resistance and erosion durability were evaluated for GZO, GAP, and composite pellets containing 10, 30, and 50 wt.% GAP. It was demonstrated that GAP and GZO are thermodynamically compatible through 1600°C and thus capable of operating well beyond the limits of traditional 7 wt.% yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ). Grain sizes are maintained due to a lack of diffusion, and thus microstructural stability is enhanced. The GAP fracture toughness was shown to be over 2X that of GZO while exhibiting a lower elastic modulus and similar hardness. The 50:50 GZO-GAP composite exhibited a 63% reduction in the absolute erosion rate, demonstrating the immense toughening capabilities of this system. The implications for composite TBCs utilizing this system are discussed, along with future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4781-4793
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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