There are many instances of coatings that require a nondestructive and non-contact measure of coating thickness as part of a quality control system. Specifically, this paper reports on experiments carried out on non-contact measurements of MCrAlY and TBC coatings. The system uses an infrared beam from a solid state laser to generate a thermal wave in the coating. When this wave reaches the substrate an interference effect is caused. The modulated input heating produces a modulated output infrared signal from the surface and at a different wavelength from the laser beam. The output signal has a phase difference from the input signal which is related to the coating thickness. As neither the laser nor the detector are in contact with the surface of the coating and the temperature of the coating is raised by only a few degrees this represents a non-contact NDE system. This system has been tested across a range of coating/substrate combinations. In this paper we give examples of MCrAlY and TBC coatings applied to engine components demonstrating that the accuracy of measurement is only limited by the roughness of the coating structure and substrate. The use of this system for on-line measurement during the spraying process is also discussed and results presented.

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