Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have adapted a process to apply thermal and environmental barrier coatings using a unique combination of a plasma spray (PS) process and a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process to improve the coverage and quality of the coatings. Built-up layers that are smooth, thin, strain-tolerant, heat-resistant, and steam-resistant can be generated with this multi-layer system architecture in a one-step coating process.

The novel method to apply thermal and environmental coatings can protect components such as engine components.

NASA Glenn's scientists are using the combined PS-PVD process to create layers of thermal and environmental barrier coatings that may be deposited from a liquid phase, a vapor phase, or both liquid and vapor phases simultaneously. This technology allows layers to be generated with a multi-system architecture, forming both planar and columnar structures, in a faster one-step coating process.

The high-velocity, plasma-enhanced, vapor phase deposition of the coating material provides non-line-of-sight surface coatings that enable coating of complex shapes. Standard methods, such as atmospheric plasma spray and electron beam/physical vapor deposition, only have line-of-sight capability, which is limited to simple shapes. With this approach, many layers can be applied, each with an application-specific micro-structure; for example, the PS-PVD method creates a barrier coating layer, an intermediary layer, and a topcoat layer that together help optimize performance of components in extreme environments.

NASA is seeking partners to further develop this technology through joint cooperative research and development. For more information about this technology and to explore opportunities, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 216-433-3484. Follow this link here  for more information.