The current investigation focuses on understanding the influence of a columnar microstructure and a sealing layer on the corrosion behavior of suspension plasma sprayed (SPS) thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). Two different TBC systems were studied in this work. First is a double layer made of a composite of gadolinium zirconate + yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) deposited on top of YSZ. Second is a triple layer made of dense gadolinium zirconate deposited on top of gadolinium zirconate + YSZ over YSZ. Cyclic corrosion tests were conducted between 25 °C and 900 °C with an exposure time of 8h at 900 °C. 75 wt. % Na2SO4 + 25 wt.% NaCl were used as the corrosive salts at a concentration of 6 mg/cm2. Scanning electron microscopy analysis of the samples’ cross-sections showed that severe bond coat degradation had taken place for both TBC systems and the extent of bond coat degradation was relatively higher in the triple layer system. It is believed that the sealing layer in the triple layer system reduced the number of infiltration channels for the molten salts which resulted in overflowing of the salts to the coating edges and caused damage to develop relatively more from the edge.

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