Higher operating temperatures for the gas turbine engines used in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants are needed for enhanced efficiency, lower emission, and increased performance. The current state-of-the-art thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are not adequate to reliably provide the needed protection for the metallic components of the turbine engine operating at higher TBC surface temperatures (>1300ºC). Thus there is a need to develop advanced TBC coatings with improved thermal stability, long thermal cycle life, very low thermal conductivity, good strain tolerance, and increased erosion resistance.
In Phase I, the appropriate TBC materials were selected and proposed TBC architectures were fabricated. Their relevant properties were evaluated. Lower thermal conductivity, higher erosion resistance, and strain tolerant microstructure were demonstrated. In Phase II work, the TBC architectures developed in Phase I will be optimized. Optimization will involve microstructure and architectural design control of the TBC architectures for further reduction in thermal conductivity, enhancement in erosion resistance, and maintenance of the strain tolerant structure for longer life.
The TBC architectures developed in this program will be applicable to turbine engines used in electric power production, propelling aircraft, and pumping fluids. Successful completion of the project will enable gas turbine engine to operate at elevated temperatures with higher efficiency (lower cost), lower emissions (less environmental pollution) and increased reliability and performance, thus contributing to advanced power plants such as Power Systems Development Facility as well as aircraft propulsion.