Cyclic oxidation failure of Atmospheric Plasma Sprayed Thermal Barrier Coatings systems (APS TBCs), commonly used to insulate hot sections in gas turbines, usually results from the spallation of the ceramic top coat. Consequently, in order to predict such spalling phenomena, understanding the mechanisms for cracks initiation and propagation in thermal barrier coatings is of utmost concern for engine-makers. Failure of the TBC is strongly related to the thermal and mechanical properties of each component of the multi-materials system (substrate, bond coat and ceramic) but also to the response of the TBC as a whole. The purpose of the work is to assess the mechanical behaviour of thick TBC using experimental approach for TBC standard lamellar, porous and microcracked microstructure (classically obtained through APS coatings). The experimental characterisation of the mechanical behaviour of the ceramic top coat of the TBC is addressed on specifically designed and prepared free-standing specimens using three points bending (3PB) tests and Small Punch Testing (SPT). The tests are performed on free-standing top coats made of YSZ in the as deposited states and for specimens that undergone isothermal aging at 1100°C for various durations (1h, 10h and 100h). The results of test performed at room temperature using both mechanical testing techniques are compared. This allows to show the evolution of mechanical properties after thermal aging. Tests performed at 850°C in the SPT ring show that the evolution of properties resulting from this aging may be different at room temperature as compare to 850°C.

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