The effect of splat interfaces on the fracture behavior of air plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings (APS-TBC) is analyzed using finite element modeling involving cohesive elements. A multiscale approach is adopted in which the explicitly resolved top coat microstructural features are embedded in a larger domain. Within the computational cell, splat interfaces are modeled as being located on a sinusoidal interface in combination with a random distribution of pores. Parametric studies are conducted for different splat interface waviness, spacing, pore volume fraction and fracture properties of the splat interface. The results are quantified in terms of crack nucleation temperature and total microcrack length. It is found that the amount of cracking in TBCs actually decreases with increased porosity up to a critical volume fraction. In contrast, the presence of splats is always detrimental to the TBC performance. This detrimental effect is reduced for the splat interfaces with high waviness and spacing compared to those with low waviness and spacing. The crack initiation temperature was found to be linearly dependent on the normal fracture properties of the splat interface. Insights derived from the numerical results aid in engineering the microstructure of practical TBC systems for improved resistance against thermal fracture.
- cohesive elements
- thermal barrier coatings