What are the Advantages of Thermal Barrier Coatings?


Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are specialized coatings that provide thermal insulation to components in high temperature environments. In this article, we’ll explore what TBCs are and the key benefits they offer.


What Are Thermal Barrier Coatings?

A thermal barrier coating is a type of coating that provides thermal insulation to the surface it is applied to. The purpose of a TBC is to shield components from high temperatures and heat transfer. These coatings allow surfaces to withstand higher operating temperatures than they could without the coating.

TBCs like our ThermaCote coating are often used in high-temperature systems like gas turbine engines, rocket engines, power plants, buildings, and more. They are applied to component surfaces that reach extremely high temps, such as combustor cans, turbine blades, nozzles, and shrouds. The coating insulates these parts and prevents heat damage.


Key Benefits of Thermal Barrier Coatings

Thermal barrier coatings

Temperature Reduction

Our ThermaCote coatings can reduce surface temperatures by over 150°F in many applications. For example, in gas turbine engines, turbine blade temperatures can be reduced from 1800°F down to 1650°F or lower. This significant drop in temperature protects components like turbine blades, nozzles, and combustors from heat damage and material failure. Lower temperatures also mean less thermal expansion, reducing stress on engine parts.

Increased Lifespan

The extreme temperature reduction provided by TBCs directly increases the lifespan of high temperature components. In turbine blade applications, ThermaCote TBCs have been proven to double or even triple blade lifespan compared to uncoated parts. By decreasing the temperature stress on these parts, fewer repairs are needed and maintenance costs are significantly reduced.

Improved Efficiency

Higher operating temperatures made possible by TBCs lead to improved thermal efficiency in engines. For example, in gas turbines ThermaCote allows turbine inlet temperatures over 150°F higher than uncoated parts. This means the exhaust has more heat energy, so the turbine produces more power. More efficiency means lower fuel costs and reduced CO2 emissions.


Our ThermaCote coatings can be applied to a wide variety of materials used in high heat applications including metals like nickel, cobalt and steel alloys. We also coat ceramics such as silicon carbide and silicon nitride. This versatility makes our TBCs useful across many industries including power generation, automotive engines, chemical processing, and industrial manufacturing.


Our coating adds just a few microns thickness to components. This leads to minimal weight gain compared to alternatives like thick insulation blankets. Lightweight coatings are especially critical in aircraft engines where extra weight severely impacts fuel burn costs.

Easy Application

ThermaCote uses proven manufacturing processes like thermal spraying to easily apply our TBCs to new parts during fabrication or onto existing components as a retrofit. Minimal surface preparation is required before application. The thermal spray process allows our trained technicians to coat components rapidly while meeting precise thickness and uniformity standards.


The ThermaCote Advantage

When you choose ThermaCote for your thermal barrier coating needs, you get a custom solution backed by expert support and unmatched temperature reduction capabilities. Our TBCs provide longer part lifetimes, improved energy efficiency, and lighter weight compared to alternatives. Contact our engineering team today to learn more about how ThermaCote can help your application.