Monolithic ceramics are under consideration as structural components for hot-stage sections of gas-fired turbine engines. In addition to manufacturing quality control, other important aspects for this application include life prediction modeling and time between engine overhauls. One nondestructive evaluation (NDE) method that provides information about material condition involves an analysis of resonant vibrations. In previous work by this general approach, changes in modal parameters have been related to bulk defect mechanisms such as microcracking due to thermal shock damage. In this work resonant vibrations from monolithic ceramic specimens were excited by an instrumented impact hammer and detected by a noncontact acoustic microphone over frequencies up to 100 kHz. Computer-based analysis of vibration signatures from test specimens allowed extraction of modal frequencies and damping constants. Downward shifts in detected resonant frequencies and increases in internal friction or (specific) damping capacity measurements were obtained from SiC cylindrical rings, and these measurements were shown to relate to thermal shock severity. This NDE method not only provides measurable parameters that could be used as accept–reject criteria for in-line process inspection, it also provides a means for tracking the mechanical integrity of in-service engine components to support life prediction modeling.

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