Abstract

The gasturbine industry is performing utmost efforts to allow increased operation temperatures to improve engine efficiency by a reduced cooling air/fuel-ratio. The reason is to save fuel and at the same time lower emission rates. A possible solution to improve the insulation of the Thermal Barrier Coating (TBC) is followed by the strategy of developing reliable thick TBCs. To be successful concerning the coating quality and to apply thick TBCs at reasonable costs and spray time it is necessary to apply the coating consistently by high deposition rates. The plasma spraying of thicker coatings leads to long spray periods which demands for a process control to keep the process parameters within the tolerances during the entire spray procedure. A major property is the control of substrate temperature with pyrometer systems and to define the process tolerances. Furthermore, a high deposition efficiency is of prime importance to shorten spray times. The optimisation of the gas composition in terms of viscosity and thermal conductivity (SPRAL 22) enables to increase dramatically this efficiency by 30% to 70%. Moreover, in order to reduce thermal expansion mismatch between substrate and ceramic top coat, a high amount of porosity is beneficial to lower young's modulus of the ceramic top. This can be achieved by adding a polymer powder to the yttria partly stabilised zirconia powder. It also leads to an increase in deposition efficiency.

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