SCIENCE CHINA Technological Sciences, Volume 61 , Issue 12 : 1882-1888(2018) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11431-018-9333-y

Experimental study and numerical modeling of the damage evolution of thermal barrier coating systems under tension

More info
  • ReceivedMay 1, 2018
  • AcceptedJul 30, 2018
  • PublishedSep 28, 2018


This study investigated the damage evolution (i.e., formation of vertical cracks, transformation of vertical cracks to interfacial crack and delamination) of thermal barrier coating systems under tension by using experimental and numerical methods. Experimental results revealed that the first transverse crack that was perpendicular to the load direction occurred when the strain of the top coat reached 0.5%. The full-scale strain of the top coat layer obtained by using the Digital Image Correlation technique indicated that surface cracks formed due to the coalescence of micro-cracks. Moreover, the results of the finite element method demonstrated that the vertical cracks initiated from the coating surface and extended through the thickness of the coatings. The density of the surface cracks was used as a damage evolution indicator such that numerical simulation could predict the cracking behaviour under tension loading. The results were consistent with those of the experimental study.

Funded by

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(Grant,No.,51571010)

the National Basic Research Program of China(Grant,No.,2015CB057400)


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51571010) and the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2015CB057400).


[1] Wang X, Guo S, Zhao L, et al. A novel thermal barrier coating for high-temperature applications. Ceramics Int, 2016, 42: 2648-2653 CrossRef Google Scholar

[2] Clarke D R, Phillpot S R. Thermal barrier coating materials. Mater Today, 2005, 8: 22-29 CrossRef Google Scholar

[3] Padture N P, Gell M, Jordan E H. Thermal barrier coatings for gas-turbine engine applications. Science, 2002, 296: 280-284 CrossRef PubMed ADS Google Scholar

[4] Wright P. Mechanisms governing the performance of thermal barrier coatings. Curr Opin Solid State Mater Sci, 1999, 4: 255-265 CrossRef ADS Google Scholar

[5] Wu C W, Huang C G, Chen G N. Interface delamination of the thermal barrier coating subjected to local heating. Sci China Tech Sci, 2010, 53: 3168-3174 CrossRef Google Scholar

[6] Li S L, Yang X G, Qi H Y, et al. The effect of thermal loading waveform on the failure mechanism of atmospheric-plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coating system. Sci China Tech Sci, 2018, doi: 10.1007/s11431-017-9173-7. Google Scholar

[7] Zhu J G, Chen W, Xie H M. Simulation of residual stresses and their effects on thermal barrier coating systems using finite element method. Scie China Phys Mech Astron, 2015, 58: 034602. Google Scholar

[8] Teixeira V, Andritschky M, Fischer W, et al. Analysis of residual stresses in thermal barrier coatings. J Mater Proce Tech, 1999, 92-93: 209-216 CrossRef Google Scholar

[9] Tang M, Xie H, Zhu J, et al. The failure mechanisms of TBC structure by moiré interferometry. Mater Sci Eng-A, 2013, 565: 142-147 CrossRef Google Scholar

[10] Ali M Y, Nusier S Q, Newaz G M. Mechanics of damage initiation and growth in a TBC/superalloy system. Int J Solid Struct, 2001, 38: 3329-3340 CrossRef Google Scholar

[11] Busso E P, Qian Z Q. A mechanistic study of microcracking in transversely isotropic ceramic–metal systems. Acta Mater, 2006, 54: 325-338 CrossRef Google Scholar

[12] Wang L, Li D C, Yang J S, et al. Modeling of thermal properties and failure of thermal barrier coatings with the use of finite element methods: A review. J Eur Ceram Soc, 2016, 36: 1313-1331 CrossRef Google Scholar

[13] Kumar V, Balasubramanian K. Progress update on failure mechanisms of advanced thermal barrier coatings: A review. Prog Org Coat, 2016, 90: 54-82 CrossRef Google Scholar

[14] Hongyu Q, Xiaoguang Y, Yamei W. Interfacial fracture toughness of APS bond coat/substrate under high temperature. Int J Fract, 2009, 157: 71-80 CrossRef Google Scholar

[15] Chen Z B, Wang Z G, Zhu S J. Tensile fracture behavior of thermal barrier coatings on superalloy. Surf Coat Tech, 2011, 205: 3931-3938 CrossRef Google Scholar

[16] Zhou Y C, Tonomori T, Yoshida A, et al. Fracture characteristics of thermal barrier coatings after tensile and bending tests. Surf Coat Tech, 2002, 157: 118-127 CrossRef Google Scholar

[17] Wang X, Tint S, Chiu M, et al. Stiffness of free-standing thermal barrier coating top coats measured by bending tests. Acta Mater, 2012, 60: 3247-3258 CrossRef Google Scholar

[18] Zhao P F, Sun C A, Zhu X Y, et al. Fracture toughness measurements of plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings using a modified four-point bending method. Surf Coat Tech, 2010, 204: 4066-4074 CrossRef Google Scholar

[19] Wang L, Ni J X, Shao F, et al. Failure behavior of plasma-sprayed yttria-stabilized zirconia thermal barrier coatings under three-point bending test via acoustic emission technique. J Therm Spray Tech, 2017, 26: 116-131 CrossRef ADS Google Scholar

[20] Yang L, Zhou Y C, Lu C. Damage evolution and rupture time prediction in thermal barrier coatings subjected to cyclic heating and cooling: An acoustic emission method. Acta Mater, 2011, 59: 6519-6529 CrossRef Google Scholar

[21] Eberl C, Gianola D S, Wang X, et al. A method for in situ measurement of the elastic behavior of a columnar thermal barrier coating. Acta Mater, 2011, 59: 3612-3620 CrossRef Google Scholar

[22] Schlichting K W, Vaidyanathan K, Sohn Y H, et al. Application of Cr3+ photoluminescence piezo-spectroscopy to plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings for residual stress measurement. Mater Sci Eng-A, 2000, 291: 68-77 CrossRef Google Scholar

[23] Sun Y, Liu M. Analysis of the crack penetration/deflection at the interfaces in the intelligent coating system utilizing virtual crack closure technique. Eng Fract Mech, 2015, 133: 152-162 CrossRef Google Scholar

[24] Bhatnagar H, Ghosh S, Walter M E. Parametric studies of failure mechanisms in elastic EB-PVD thermal barrier coatings using FEM. Int J Solid Struct, 2006, 43: 4384-4406 CrossRef Google Scholar

[25] Seiler P, Bäker M, Rösler J. Multi-scale failure mechanisms of thermal barrier coating systems. Comput Mater Sci, 2013, 80: 27-34 CrossRef Google Scholar

[26] Zhu W, Yang L, Guo J W, et al. Determination of interfacial adhesion energies of thermal barrier coatings by compression test combined with a cohesive zone finite element model. Int J Plast, 2015, 64: 76-87 CrossRef Google Scholar

[27] Dugdale D S. Yielding of steel sheets containing slits. J Mech Phys Solids, 1960, 8: 100-104 CrossRef ADS Google Scholar

[28] Needleman A. A continuum model for void nucleation by inclusion debonding. J Appl Mech, 1987, 54: 525-531 CrossRef ADS Google Scholar

[29] Fan X L, Xu R, Zhang W X, et al. Effect of periodic surface cracks on the interfacial fracture of thermal barrier coating system. Appl Surf Sci, 2012, 258: 9816-9823 CrossRef ADS Google Scholar

[30] Parmigiani J P, Thouless M D. The roles of toughness and cohesive strength on crack deflection at interfaces. J Mech Phys Solids, 2006, 54: 266-287 CrossRef ADS Google Scholar

[31] Di Leo C V, Luk-Cyr J, Liu H, et al. A new methodology for characterizing traction-separation relations for interfacial delamination of thermal barrier coatings. Acta Mater, 2014, 71: 306-318 CrossRef Google Scholar

[32] Zhu W, Yang L, Guo J W, et al. Numerical study on interaction of surface cracking and interfacial delamination in thermal barrier coatings under tension. Appl Surf Sci, 2014, 315: 292-298 CrossRef ADS Google Scholar

[33] Białas M. Finite element analysis of stress distribution in thermal barrier coatings. Surf Coat Tech, 2008, 202: 6002-6010 CrossRef Google Scholar

[34] Ramberg W, Osgood W R. Description of stress-strain curves by three parameters. Technical Note no. 503. Washington, DC: National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, 1943. Google Scholar

[35] Aktaa J, Sfar K, Munz D. Assessment of TBC systems failure mechanisms using a fracture mechanics approach. Acta Mater, 2005, 53: 4399-4413 CrossRef Google Scholar

[36] Evans A G, He M Y, Hutchinson J W. Mechanics-based scaling laws for the durability of thermal barrier coatings. Prog Mater Sci, 2001, 46: 249-271 CrossRef Google Scholar

[37] Xu W, Wei Y. Strength analysis of metallic bonded joints containing defects. Comput Mater Sci, 2012, 53: 444-450 CrossRef Google Scholar

[38] Białas M, Majerus P, Herzog R, et al. Numerical simulation of segmentation cracking in thermal barrier coatings by means of cohesive zone elements. Mater Sci Eng-A, 2005, 412: 241-251 CrossRef Google Scholar

[39] Rabiei A, Evans A G. Failure mechanisms associated with the thermally grown oxide in plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings. Acta Mater, 2000, 48: 3963-3976 CrossRef Google Scholar

[40] Xu Z H, Yang Y, Huang P, et al. Determination of interfacial properties of thermal barrier coatings by shear test and inverse finite element method. Acta Mater, 2010, 58: 5972-5979 CrossRef Google Scholar

[41] Deng H X, Shi H J, Yu H C, et al. Effect of heat treatment at 900°C on microstructural and mechanical properties of thermal barrier coatings. Surf Coat Tech, 2011, 205: 3621-3630 CrossRef Google Scholar

[42] Qian L, Zhu S, Kagawa Y, et al. Tensile damage evolution behavior in plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coating system. Surf Coat Tech, 2003, 173: 178-184 CrossRef Google Scholar

[43] Wang L, Wang Y, Sun X G, et al. Influence of pores on the thermal insulation behavior of thermal barrier coatings prepared by atmospheric plasma spray. Mater Des, 2011, 32: 36-47 CrossRef Google Scholar

[44] Rahmani K, Nategh S. Influence of aluminide diffusion coating on low cycle fatigue properties of René 80. Mater Sci Eng-A, 2008, 486: 686-695 CrossRef Google Scholar

[45] Jiang P, Fan X, Sun Y, et al. Competition mechanism of interfacial cracks in thermal barrier coating system. Mater Des, 2017, 132: 559-566 CrossRef Google Scholar

[46] Zhou M, Yao W B, Yang X S, et al. In-situ and real-time tests on the damage evolution and fracture of thermal barrier coatings under tension: A coupled acoustic emission and digital image correlation method. Surf Coat Tech, 2014, 240: 40-47 CrossRef Google Scholar

[47] McGuigan A P, Briggs G A D, Burlakov V M, et al. An elastic-plastic shear lag model for fracture of layered coatings. Thin Solid Films, 2003, 424: 219-223 CrossRef ADS Google Scholar

  • Figure 1

    (Color online) (a) Plate sample with TBCs for the tensile tests; (b) schematic illustration of plate sample and (c) experimental arrangement.

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) Finite element meshes for simulating the tension experiment.

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) The traction-separation law of cohesive elements.

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) Stress-strain curves of the TBCs and the substrate samples.

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) DIC results on surface view of the coated sample at different stage of experiment in Figure 4. (a) Point A, 12.21 MPa; (b) point B, 141.56 MPa; (c) point C, 182.10 MPa; (d) point D, 379.75 MPa; (e) point E, 519.31 MPa; (f) point F, 546.49 MPa.

  • Figure 6

    Schematic illustration of the formation mechanism of coating cracks. (a) Phase I; (b) phase II; (c) phase III.

  • Figure 7

    (Color online) SEM micrographs of the longitudinal section at (a) the middle of TBCs sample, and (b) the edge of the TC layer.

  • Figure 8

    (Color online) The cohesive elements damage distribution of the coating sample when the surface cracking began to appear.

  • Figure 9

    (Color online) The stress distribution of the coating during the tension deformation process. (a) 28 steps, the TC began cracking; (b) 49 steps, the vertical crack extends from the coating surface toward the BC and substrate interface, the type I crack appears; (c) the vertical crack reaches the BC and substrate interface; (d) 115 steps, interfacial delamination, i.e. type II crack is observed.

  • Figure 10

    (Color online) The transverse crack number within the parallel section of the loaded sample as a function of tensile strain of substrate.

  • Table 1   Nominal chemical compositions of the bond coat (wt%)















Copyright 2020  CHINA SCIENCE PUBLISHING & MEDIA LTD.  中国科技出版传媒股份有限公司  版权所有

京ICP备14028887号-23       京公网安备11010102003388号