Quantitative characterization of microstructures of plasma sprayed coatings, that accounts for their anisotropic and “irregular” character, is developed. An important finding is that “islands” of partial contacts along microcrack faces –even if they are very small - produce a strong effect on both elasticity and conductivity, thus reducing the “effective” microcrack density. Theoretical results are twofold: (1) conductive/elastic properties of the coatings in terms of the microstructure, and (2) conductive–elastic cross-property connections, that interrelate the anisotropic overall conductive and elastic constants. They can be utilized for “mapping” possible combinations of the two properties and, thus, for optimization of the microstructure for the combined conductive/elastic performance. Testing of the model against experimental data on YSZ coatings produces a good agreement.

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