Acoustic emission techniques have recently been used in a number of studies to investigate the performance and failure behavior of plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings. Failure of the coating is a complex phenomena, especially when the composite nature of the coating is considered in the light of possible failure mechanisms. Thus it can be expected that both the metal and ceramic components (i.e., the bond coat and ceramic overlay) of a composite thermal protection system influence the macroscopic behavior and performance of the coating. The aim of the present work is to summarize the “state-of-the-art” in terms of this initial work and indicate where future progress may be made.

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