In order to improve the efficiency of electric power generation with gas turbines, the turbine inlet gas temperature needs to be increased. Hence, it is necessary to apply thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) to various hot gas path components. Although TBCs protect the substrate of hot gas path components from high-temperature gas, their thermal resistance degrades over time because of erosion and sintering of the topcoat. When the thermal resistance of TBCs degrades, the surface temperature of the substrate becomes higher, and this temperature increase affects the durability of the hot gas path components. Therefore, to understand the performance of serviced TBCs, the thermal resistance of TBCs needs to be examined by the nondestructive testing (NDT) method. This method has already been reported for TBCs applied to a combustion liner. However, recently, TBCs have been applied to gas turbine blades that have complex three-dimensional shapes, and therefore, an NDT method for examining the thermal resistance of TBCs on blades was developed. This method is based on active thermography using carbon dioxide laser heating and surface temperature measurement of the topcoat by using an infrared camera. The thermal resistance of TBCs is calculated from the topcoat surface temperature when the laser beam heats the surface. In this study, the developed method was applied to a cylindrical TBC sample that simulated curvature on the suction side of a blade, and the results showed the appropriate laser heating condition for this method. Under the appropriate condition, this method could also examine the thermal resistance of TBCs present at 70% of the height of the blade. With these results, this method could determine the thermal resistance within an error range of 4%, as compared to destructive testing.

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