Advanced neutron and X-ray techniques for insights into the microstructure of EB-PVD thermal barrier coatings

Anand Kulkarni, Allen Goland, Herbert Herman, Andrew J. Allen, Tabbetha Dobbins, Francesco DeCarlo, Jan Ilavsky, Gabrielle G. Long, Stacy Fang, Paul Lawton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The ongoing quest to increase gas turbine efficiency and performance (increased thrust) provides a driving force for materials development. While improved engine design and usage of novel materials provide solutions for increased engine operating temperatures, and hence fuel efficiency, reliability issues remain. Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs), deposited onto turbine components using the electron-beam physical vapor deposition (EB-PVD) process, exhibit unique pore architectures capable of bridging the technological gap between insulation/life extension and prime reliance. This article explores the potential of advanced X-ray and neutron techniques for comprehension of an EB-PVD TBC coating microstructure. While conventional microscopy reveals a hierarchy of voids, complementary advanced techniques allow quantification of these voids in terms of component porosities, anisotropy, size and gradient through the coating thickness. In addition, the derived microstructural parameters obtained both further knowledge of the nature and architecture of the porosity, and help establish its influence on the resultant thermal and mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 25 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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