Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy for contamination removal on engine-run thermal barrier coatings

Mark S. Majewski, Colin Kelley, Waled Hassan, William Brindley, Eric H. Jordan, Michael W. Renfro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A method for cleaning thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) contaminated during engine operation has been developed using laser ablation. Surface contamination on the turbine blades hinders nondestructive remaining life evaluation using photoluminescence piezospectroscopy (PLPS). Real time monitoring of the removed material is employed to prevent damage to the underlying coating. This method relies on laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to compute the cross correlation coefficient between the spectral emissions of a sample TBC that is contaminated and a reference clean TBC. The ablation process is stopped when the LIBS signal indicates the presence of the underlying TBC. It is shown that it is possible to remove targeted contaminants and cease ablation at top surface of the TBC. Subsequent microscopy images and PLPS measurements indicate that the integrity of the TBC has been maintained during the removal of surface contaminants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4614-4619
Number of pages6
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Jun 25 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted with the support of Rolls Royce Corporation and the National Science Foundation .


  • Contaminant removal
  • Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy
  • Non-destructive evaluation
  • Photoluminescence piezospectroscopy
  • Thermal barrier coatings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy for contamination removal on engine-run thermal barrier coatings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this