Oxidation failure of TBC systems: An assessment of mechanisms

Hugh Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Citations (Scopus)


The spallation of thermal barrier coatings can be life-limiting but its prediction has proven to be a difficult problem. The final spallation event can often occur by buckling and is driven by the release of strain energy within the ceramic top coat and within the underlying thermally-grown oxide (TGO) layer if the delamination interface is at the TGO/bond-coat interface. Prior to this event, substantial sub-critical damage must develop at one or both of the TGO interfaces. It is argued in this paper that it is only the strain energy within the TGO produced during cooling that contributes significantly to this damage development and not that within the top coat. A critical strain energy within the TGO layer is suggested as a possible pragmatic method of predicting spallation. A critical assessment of proposed mechanisms which implicate bond coat oxidation in the failure process is also undertaken in the paper. Attention is given to: the role of phase changes in the bond coat; the influence of the mechanical constraint imposed by the top coat on the mechanical stability of the bond coat interface; the effect of the growth of the TGO on a non-planar interface on stress development; the importance of localised Al depletion in nucleating a fast-growing non-protective TGO. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1512-1521
Number of pages10
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Failure mechanisms
  • TBCs
  • Oxidation
  • Spallation prediction


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