Suspension plasma sprayed (SPS) coatings can be produced with fine powder particles and tailor-made porosity. This allows to achieve low thermal conductivity which makes the coatings attractive as e.g. topcoats in thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). Used in gas turbine applications, the TBCs are exposed to high temperatures which leads to alterations of the microstructure. To obtain coatings with optimized properties, possible microstructure alterations like closing of pores and opening of cracks have to be taken into account. Hence, in this study, TBC topcoats consisting of 8 wt.% yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) were heat treated in air at 1150°C and thereafter investigated using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) cryoporometry. For all investigated samples, the porosity decreased as a result of the heat treatment. The finer pores and cracks disappeared and the larger pores grew slightly and achieved a more distinct shape as the material seemed to become more compact.

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