Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are advanced materials systems usually applied to metallic surfaces operating at elevated temperatures, such as gas turbine or aero-engine parts, as a form of exhaust heat management. These 100 μm to 2 mm thick coatings of thermally insulating materials serve to insulate components from large and prolonged heat loads and can sustain an appreciable temperature difference between the load-bearing alloys and the coating surface. In doing so, these coatings can allow for higher operating temperatures while limiting the thermal exposure of structural components, extending part life by reducing oxidation and thermal fatigue. In conjunction with active film cooling, TBCs permit working fluid temperatures higher than the melting point of the metal airfoil in some turbine applications. Due to increasing demand for more efficient engines running at higher temperatures with better durability/lifetime and thinner coatings to reduce parasitic mass for rotating/moving components, there is significant motivation to develop new and advanced TBCs. The material requirements of TBCs are similar to those of heat shields, although in the latter application emissivity tends to be of greater importance.
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