A new method has been developed and demonstrated for the non-destructive, quantitative assessment of internal heat transfer coefficient distributions of cooled metallic turbine airfoils. The technique employs the acquisition of full-surface external surface temperature data in response to a thermal transient induced by internal heating/cooling, in conjunction with knowledge of the part wall thickness and geometry, material properties, and internal fluid temperatures. An imaging Infrared camera system is used to record the complete time history of the external surface temperature response during a transient initiated by the introduction of a convecting fluid through the cooling circuit of the part. The transient data obtained is combined with the cooling fluid network model to provide the boundary conditions for a finite element model representing the complete part geometry. A simple 1D lumped thermal capacitance model for each local wall position is used to provide a first estimate of the internal surface heat transfer coefficient distribution. A 3D inverse transient conduction model of the part is then executed with updated internal heat transfer coefficients until convergence is reached with the experimentally measured external wall temperatures as a function of time. This new technique makes possible the accurate quantification of full-surface internal heat transfer coefficient distributions for prototype and production metallic airfoils in a totally non-destructive and non-intrusive manner. The technique is equally applicable to other material types and other cooled/heated components.

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