Due to elevated temperatures and excessive stresses, turbine components may experience creep behavior. As a result, it is desirable to monitor and assess the current condition of such components. This study employed the Acousto-Ultrasonics (AU) method in an effort to monitor the state of the material at various percentages of used up creep life in the nickel base alloy, Udimet 520. A stepped specimen (i.e., varying cross sectional area) was employed which allowed for a post mortem nondestructive evaluation (NDE) analysis of the various levels of used up life. The overall objectives here were two fold: First, a user friendly, graphical interface AU system was developed, and second the new AU system was applied as a NDE tool to assess distributed damage resulting from creep. The experimental results demonstrated that the AU method shows promise as an NDE tool capable of detecting material changes as a function of used up creep life. Furthermore, the changes in the AU parameters were mainly attributed to the case of combined load and elevated temperature (i.e., creep) and not simply because of a timed exposure at elevated temperature (i.e., heat treatment or thermal aging).

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