Failure of a two-layer plasma-deposited thermal barrier coating is caused by cyclic thermal exposure and occurs by spallation of the outer ceramic layer. Spallation life is quantitatively predictable, based on the severity of cyclic thermal exposure. This paper describes and attempts to explain unusual constitutive behavior observed in the insulative ceramic coating layer, and presents details of the ceramic cracking damage accumulation process, which is responsible for spallation failure. Comments also are offered to rationalize the previously documented influence of interfacial oxidation on ceramic damage accumulation and spallation life.

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