Japan has many aged thermal power plant facilities and some boilers in such facilities have been in operation for more than 100,000 hours, so the importance of creep residual life evaluation of components exposed to severe conditions has been increasing. Although creep residual life of such components can be evaluated by destructive methods relatively accurately, they significantly affect the component to be sampled, take a long time to carry out and are high-cost. To solve these problems, Kobe Material Testing Laboratory Co., Ltd. and Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. have jointly developed compact-sized and less expensive small punch creep testing equipment for accurate creep residual life evaluation. Outer dimensions of developed equipment are 660W × 335D × 807H (mm); weight is 130kg. Small punch creep test can be conducted by this testing equipment, in order to identify creep property using 8mm diameter and 0.5mm thickness specimens taken from tubes or pipes of thermal power plant facilities, and evaluate remaining life. The testing equipment is expected to improve efficiency and reduce costs to evaluate material characteristics and creep residual life for facilities in power plants and various industries.

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