Dr. Raghavan is named
Educator of the Year
by Women in Aerospace
Read our paper in Surface and Coatings Technology
Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are widely used in the hot sections of gas turbine systems as they are remarkably efficient in insulating the underlying superalloys, leading to higher operating temperatures and therefore enhancing the performance of the engines. However, this benefit is only possible if the integrity of the TBC under aggressive thermo-mechanical environments is ensured. Delamination is a common but hard to detect failure mode. We present, in this work, supported by experimentation, the implementation of a modeling approach applying the Kubelka-Munk theory to provide numerical quantification of luminescence contrast and intensity due to top coat delamination in TBCs. The method relies on the drastic change in reflectivity when a delamination forms, exploiting it for high-contrast luminescence mapping. Two distinct TBC configurations containing an erbium-doped yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ:Er3+) layer for delamination sensing were used to validate this model. A delamination zone induced by Rockwell indentation was successfully tracked by measuring an increase of the intensity of the erbium emission line at 562 nm. Luminescence-based methods for delamination detection can provide a revolutionary non-invasive technique, with potential for both off-line and on-line engine monitoring.
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