Shane Colon

Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Aerospace Engineering


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Mark Ricklick

First Committee Member

Dr. Magdy Attia

Second Committee Member

Dr. Al-Haik


Thermal barrier coatings (TBC) found on turbine blades are a key element in the performance and reliability of modern gas turbines. During the life of the turbine components, the TBC surface may be damaged due to manufacturing imperfections, handling damage, service spalling, or service impact damage, producing chips in the coating. While a chip in the TBC coating is expected to cause an increase in airfoil temperature, it is unknown to what degree the blade will be affected and what parameters of the chip shape affect this result. The goal of this preliminary study is to identify the major driving parameters that lead to the increase in metal temperature when TBC is damaged, such that more quantitative estimates of blade life and refurbishing needs can be made.

A 2-D computational Conjugate Heat Transfer model was developed; fully resolving the hot gas path and TBC, bond-coat, and super alloy solids. The most sensitive driving parameters were identified to be the chip width and Mach number. In cases where the chip width reached 16 times the TBC thickness, temperatures increased by almost 30% when compared to the undamaged equivalents. While the Reynolds number based on the distance from the leading chip edge was deemed negligible, the Reynolds number based on the chip width was found to have a noticeable impact on the blade temperature. In conclusion, this study found that chip edge geometry was a negligible factor, while the Mach number, chip width, and Reynolds number based on the chip width had a significant effect on the total metal temperature.