Thermal Barrier Coatings are used to protect a vulnerable substrate from the effects of an external heat source. They are highly advanced material systems applied to metallic surfaces such as gas turbine or aerospace engine parts as well as automotive exhaust heat management systems.
These systems require materials with low thermal conductivity, often a ceramic. Zirconia powders make up some of the best performing coatings.
With the demand for fuel economy and increased power, combustion temperatures are approaching the design limits of the metal alloys from which turbine components are made. The Thermal Barrier Coatings, such as Yttria Stabilised Zirconia, enable the super alloys to be used at higher temperatures.