This work introduces a resonant-based, mixed numerical-experimental method for the determination of the in-plane elastic properties of the constituent materials of laminates. This non-destructive method identifies elastic properties from the resonant frequencies of beam-shaped layered specimens, using a set of finite element models. The method is demonstrated on a thermal barrier coating system made of NiCoCrAlY bondcoat and yttria-stabilised zirconia topcoat deposited by air-plasma spraying on stainless steel. The stainless steel was found to be elastically anisotropic, while both bondcoat and topcoat exhibited in-plane isotropy. Moreover, the topcoat Poisson's ratio approached zero, and the bondcoat properties varied with the coating thickness. Scanning electron microscopy was used to correlate the identified elastic properties with the coating microstructure. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.