Steam Degradation of Ytterbium Disilicate Environmental Barrier Coatings: Effect of Composition, Microstructure and Temperature

Daniel Tejero-Martin, Mingwen Bai, Acacio Rincon Romero, Richard G Wellman, Tanvir Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


Recession of environmental barrier coatings (EBC) in environments containing steam is a pressing concern that requires further research before their implementation in gas turbine engines can be realized. In this work, free-standing plasma-sprayed Yb2Si2O7 coatings were exposed to flowing steam at 1350 and 1400 °C for 96 h. Three samples were investigated, one coating with a low porosity level ( < 3%) and 1 wt.% Al2O3 representing traditional EBCs porosity levels; and two coatings with higher porosity levels (~ 20%) representing abradable EBCs. Phase composition and microstructural evolution were studied in order to reveal the underlying mechanism for the interaction between high temperature steam and ytterbium disilicate. The results show depletion of Yb2SiO5 near the surface and formation of ytterbium garnet (Yb3Al5O12) on top of all three coatings due to the reaction with gaseous Al-containing impurities coming from the alumina furnace tubes. The 1 wt.% Al2O3 added to the EBC sample exacerbated the formation of garnet at 1400 °C compared to the abradable samples, which presented lower quantities of garnet. Additionally, inter-splat boundaries were visible after exposure, indicating preferential ingress of gaseous Al-containing impurities through the splat boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Thermal Spray Technology
Issue number1
Early online date20 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (grant number EP/L016206/1).


  • environmental barrier coating
  • steam
  • ytterbium disilicate
  • thermal spray


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