Residual stresses are inherent in thermal barrier coatings (TBC's) and can influence in-service performance and life of the coatings. Therefore, the effective design and processing of TBC's requires knowledge about residual stress generation and the effect of residual stresses on TEC life. Understanding residual stress generation and the effects on thermal barrier coating life are formidable tasks that have received little attention in the literature. This work addresses the first task. Specifically, the objectives of this work were to better understand how processing and post-processing residual stresses are generated in TBC's. The approach was to evaluate the effect of substrate temperature during processing and the effect of post-processing thermal cycling on the generation of coating residual stresses. Residual stress measurements were conducted using an experimental residual stress evaluation technique called the "Modified Layer Removal Method." Results showed residual stresses could be changed both by controlling the substrate temperature during processing and by thermal cycling after processing. Residual stresses in specimens with a higher substrate temperature during processing were found to be more compressive than residual stresses in specimens with a lower processing substrate temperature. Post-processing thermal cycling caused the residual stresses to become more compressive for specimens with both the higher and lower substrate processing temperatures. Residual stresses for one and ten post-processing thermal cycles were evaluated. For both substrate processing temperatures, the change in TBC compressive residual stresses for the first cycle was more than three times the total residual stress change that occurred in cycles two through ten. Interestingly, the increase in residual stresses in cycles two through ten for the higher substrate processing temperature was greater than that for the lower processing substrate temperature. In other words, based on results obtained here, compressive residual stresses generated during thermal cycling appear to depend on the existing processing residual stress. For these conditions, higher processing compressive residual stresses lead to higher post-processing changes in compressive stresses per thermal cycle.

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