Plasma sprayed thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are applied to gas turbine components for providing thermal insulation and oxidation resistance. The TBC systems currently in use on superalloy substates typically consists of a metallic MCrAlY based bond coat and an insulating Y2O3 partially stabilized ZrO2 as a ceramic top coat (ZrO2 7-8 wt.% Y2O3). The oxidation of bond coat underlying yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is a significant factor in controlling the failure of TBCs. The oxidation of bond coat induces to the formation of a thermally grown oxide (TGO) layer at the bond coat/YSZ interface. The thickening of the TGO layer increases the stresses and leads to the spallation of TBCs. If the TGO were composed of a continuous scale of Al2O3, it would act as a diffusion barrier to suppress the formation of other detrimental mixed oxides during the extended thermal exposure in service, thus helping to protect the substrate from further oxidation and improving the durability. The TBC layers are usually coated onto the superalloy substrate using the APS (Atmospheric plasma spray) process because of economic and practical considerations. As well as, HVOF (High velocity oxygen fuel) bond coat provides a good microstructure and better adhesion compared with the APS process. Therefore, there is a need to understand the cycling oxidation characteristic and failure mode in TBC systems having bond coat prepared using different processes. In the present investigation, the growth of TGO layers was studied to evaluate the cyclic oxidation behavior of YSZ/Al2O3 composite TBC systems with APS-NiCrAlY and HVOF-NiCrAlY bond coats. Interface morphology is significantly effective factor in occurrence of the oxide layer. Oxide layer thickening rate is slower in APS bond coated TBCs than HVOF bond coated systems under thermal cycle conditions at 1200 degrees C. The YSZ/Al2O3 particle composite systems with APS bond coat have a higher thermal cycle life time than with the HVOF bond coating. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.