A model of the sintering exhibited by EB-PVD TBCs, based on the principles of free energy minimization, was recently published by Hutchinson et al. In the current paper, this approach is applied to the sintering of plasma-sprayed TBCs and comparisons are made with experimental results. Predictions of through-thickness shrinkage and changing pore surface area are compared with experimental data obtained by dilatometry and BET analysis respectively. The sensitivity of the predictions to initial pore architecture and material properties are assessed. The model can be used to predict the evolution of the contact area between overlying splats. This is in turn related to the through-thickness thermal conductivity, using a previously-developed analytical model.

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