Thermal barrier coatings (TBCs), that reduce the temperature in the underlying substrate material, are an essential requirement for the hot section components of industrial gas turbines. Recently, in order to take full advantage of the potential of the TBC systems, experimental and analytical investigations in TBC systems have been performed. However there is a little information on the deformation behavior of the top coating. In addition, the effects of the thermal exposure and the process parameters on the mechanical properties of the top coating have never been clarified. From these backgrounds, the effects of the process variables in APS and the thermal exposure on the mechanical properties were investigated in order to optimize the APS process of top coatings. The experimental results indicated that the mechanical properties of the APS-TBC, i.e. the tensile strength and the elastic modulus, were significantly changed by the process variables and the long term thermal exposure. The microstructural investigation was also carried out and the relationship between the mechanical properties and the porosity was discussed.