heat and cold back and forth!
Energy supply is ones of the most important elements of development, and also that thing that powers your WiFi and charges your phone so you can post that kitty photo that the entire world wide web needs so bad. In areas with abundant water damps are use to generate electricity and contribute to people´s quality live (or social media drama). However, in areas where water is not that abundant other resources are needed. Hence thermal power stations use turbines to generate electricity (something similar to what happens in a plane engine). In a very simplified manner, the hotter the turbines gets the greater the amount of energy you can produce. So the question is: How hot can we get a turbine and still operate it in a safe manner ?. The answer for that has multiples components. However we gonna just focus on one. Thermal barrier coatings, also know by jargon lovers as TBC's. A thermal barrier coating is simply put, a super thick layer of sunscreen for a metallic component in the inside of the turbine. In this case is much more thicker that the cream you put on your face during the summer. Something like the mud cover that Arnold Schwarzenegger used on Predator 4. Anyway back to power generation. The components inside the turbine are coated with the ceramic layer that allows higher operating temperatures, an therefore, as we mentioned earlier, more power generation. Now, what happens is the coating feels off. In a simple Germanic expression "Kaput!". That's the reason why it is very important to know how the coating is doing and if it needs to be repare or replace.
The project I was working on looked to answer the question of "What happens when you heat and cool (cycle) a coating multiple times, in a way much faster that the initial design conditions?
First you need to proper set of toys to go form room temperature to almost 1000°C in a manner of seconds. Since that is not a very commercial demand people has on the daily lives, it turns out there is nobody out there that is going to sell you that kind of machine, at least at a reasonable price. What we did? Our own. We modified a commercial furnace and design a new set of doors to allow our sample experience a very fast change in temperature. Here you can se some pictures of the equipment. If you want to know what happened to the coatings click in the link below.