Characterization of dolomitic limestone rock samples with increasing levels of damage is presented using a nonlinear ultrasonic approach. Limestone test samples with increasing levels of damage were created artificially by exposing virgin samples to increasing temperature levels of 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, and 700°C for a ninety minute period of time. These samples were first characterized using ultrasonic dilatational and shear phase velocity measurements and corresponding attenuations. Then, a nonlinear approach based upon non-collinear wave mixing of two dilatational waves was used. Criteria were used to assure that the detected scattered wave originated via wave interaction in the limestone and not from nonlinearities in the testing equipment. It was observed that both the dilatational velocity and the noncollinear wave mixing approach are able to characterize the level of damage in limestone rock. However, the nonlinear approach is more sensitive to damage accumulation by about two orders of magnitude.
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