Metallic and ceramic thin film thermocouples for gas turbine engines
Temperatures of hot section components in today's gas turbine engines reach as high as 1,500 °C, making in situ monitoring of the severe temperature gradients within the engine rather difficult. Therefore, there is a need to develop instrumentation (i.e., thermocouples and strain gauges) for these turbine engines that can survive these harsh environments. Refractory metal and ceramic thin film thermocouples are well suited for this task since they have excellent chemical and electrical stability at high temperatures in oxidizing atmospheres, they are compatible with thermal barrier coatings commonly employed in today's engines, they have greater sensitivity than conventional wire thermocouples, and they are non-invasive to combustion aerodynamics in the engine. Thin film thermocouples based on platinum:palladium and indium oxynitride:indium tin oxynitride as well as their oxide counterparts have been developed for this purpose and have proven to be more stable than conventional type-S and type-K thin film thermocouples. The metallic and ceramic thin film thermocouples described within this paper exhibited remarkable stability and drift rates similar to bulk (wire) thermocouples. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.