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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2016, Article ID 9071237, 10 pages
Research Article

Effects of a Mixed Zone on TGO Displacement Instabilities of Thermal Barrier Coatings at High Temperature in Gas-Cooled Fast Reactors

1College of Mechanical Engineering, Chongqing University of Technology, Chongqing 400054, China
2Key Laboratory of Manufacture and Test Techniques for Automobile Parts, Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400054, China

Received 1 June 2016; Revised 20 September 2016; Accepted 4 October 2016

Academic Editor: Michel Giot

Copyright © 2016 Jian Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thermally grown oxide (TGO), commonly pure α-Al2O3, formed on protective coatings acts as an insulation barrier shielding cooled reactors from high temperatures in nuclear energy systems. Mixed zone (MZ) oxide often grows at the interface between the alumina layer and top coat in thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) at high temperature dwell times accompanied by the formation of alumina. The newly formed MZ destroys interface integrity and significantly affects the displacement instabilities of TGO. In this work, a finite element model based on material property changes was constructed to investigate the effects of MZ on the displacement instabilities of TGO. MZ formation was simulated by gradually changing the metal material properties into MZ upon thermal cycling. Quantitative data show that MZ formation induces an enormous stress in TGO, resulting in a sharp change of displacement compared to the alumina layer. The displacement instability increases with an increase in the MZ growth rate, growth strain, and thickness. Thus, the formation of a MZ accelerates the failure of TBCs, which is in agreement with previous experimental observations. These results provide data for the understanding of TBC failure mechanisms associated with MZ formation and of how to prolong TBC working life.