Microstructure of plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coating has an influence on the lifetime under service conditions in aero engine. This paper focuses on problems of preparing and comparing ceramic samples and characterising microstructure features such as porosity and cracks within coating cross sections by image analysis. The results can be used for developing standards and best practices for characterization plasma-sprayed coatings. The methodology was evolved to relate coating microstructure to spraying parameters and properties of coating. It would help to develop new ceramics coatings or optimise them.

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