In this study, Acoustic Emission (AE) signals are used to monitor the degradation of plasma-sprayed Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBC) using cyclic four point bend tests. Signal analysis both in time and frequency domains is carried
out in order to identify the key parameters which can be used to classify the acoustic emission signals as a function of the damage mechanisms. This classification offers a mean of prediction of the long-term behavior of the TBC
based on the acoustic emission signal signature at the early stages of bench testing.
Tests were performed on unnotched and perpendicularly notched samples in order to discriminate the AE from perpendicular cracks. Two broadband transducers are
used for acquisition of acoustic emission signals. Measuring the time between signal detection by each of the two transducers provides a means of determination
of the location of the source of the acoustic signals. A classification of the signals based on their energy and their maximum peak frequency is presented. A
comparison is made between the degradation mechanisms of TBC under thermal cycling conditions that were presented elsewhere (1) and the results of four point bend tests presented here.