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ROLE OF INFRARED

THERMOGRAPHY IN
NONDESTRUCTIVE
TESTING OF CIVIL
ENGINEERING
STRUCTURES

INTRODUCTION
Infrared thermography is one of the nondestructive thermal methods which is becoming
ever more popular in testing of materials and
structures since it is completely noncontact and
may be faster than many other techniques that are
being used.
Thermal methods generally consist of
1. The thermal stimulation of the object (under
examination)
2. Monitoring of its surface temperature variation
during the transient heating or cooling phase.

ROLE AND ADVANTAGES


The application of IR thermography is not just
limited to passive investigations of the quality
of thermal insulation of structures. It can be
used for detecting :-

1. Defects like voids in


1. Defects like voids in
concrete or masonry
concrete or masonry
2. Delaminations at
2. Delaminations at
interfaces of composites
interfaces of composites
Infrared thermography, due to its non-contact
character allows for quick 2D surface mapping
and efficient means of testing structures.

STEPS INVOLVING ACTIVE


IR THERMOGRAPHY
In this approach unlike others the following
processes are adhered to :

Application of Heat
Application of Heat
Analysis of Surface Temperature
Analysis of Surface Temperature
Calculation of Thermal Contrast T
Calculation of Thermal Contrast T
Thermal contrast is the difference of
temperature between a specific object and
its surroundings

TESTING OF STRUCTURES
Inspections of bridge decks and pavements .
For locating delaminations at bridge decks,
the method is intended for use on exposed
and overlaid bridge decks of asphalt or
concrete as thick as 100 mm .
The test procedure,
Bridge deck should be dry for a minimum of
24 hours prior to the test and the
temperature difference must be at least 0.5
C between the delaminated area and the
adjacent solid concrete.

LOCATION OF VOIDS IN
CONCRETE
To investigate the
detectability of voids in
concrete.

Two concrete test


specimens were built,
having a size of 1.8 x 2.0 x
0.25 m.

Voids, simulated by
polystyrene cuboids with
different sizes were
positioned by polyamide
threads in the wooden
formwork.
The thermal imaging is

Thermograms after
the test:
In both image, the
temperature is scaled
to the respective
minimum and
maximum to obtain
the best possible
contrast. It can be
seen that the small
voids defects No. 1 to
4 are not visible or
just barely visible.
Defects which are
covered by 4.5 cm of
concrete as well as
the shallow larger
void defect No. 5 is

ACTIVE THERMOGRAPHY TESTING


PROCEDURES
When the object or feature of interest is in
equilibrium with the rest of the scene, it is
possible to create a thermal contrast on the
surface using a thermal source; this is known
as the Active approach in infrared
thermography. Change in temperature
gradient will help in differentiating anomalies
in the bulk material.
Thermography
TYPESPulsed
OF
ACTIVE
THERMOGRAPHY
Pulsed
Thermography

Lock in
Lock in
Thermography
Thermography

Pulsed
Thermography
(PT) is one of the most
common thermal
stimulation methods
used in thermography
for nondestructive
testing.
Procedure :
A short thermal
stimulation pulse
lasting from a few
milliseconds for highconductivity material,
such as metal, to a few
seconds for low
conductivity specimens,

Lock-in
Thermography
(LT) is based on thermal
waves generated inside a
specimen and detected
remotely.
Wave generation,is

performed by periodic
deposition of heat on a
specimens surface
The resulting oscillating

temperature field is
recorded remotely through
thermal infrared emission.
The time dependence
between the output signal
and the reference input
signal is monitored.

Detecting a Defect in
Structure
The temperature gradient

of non defective specimen


is linear.
Presence of voids leads to

increase of temperature of
the adjacent surface due to
less thermal effusity of air
than the bulk material
Thus showing an upward

rising temperature
gradient. Hence we can find
out the Thermal Contrast .
Which will inturn give the
nature of defect present.

By using active infrared thermography and


appropriate post processing techniques, detection
of near-surface inhomogeneities and common
subsurface defects in typical structural elements
is possible. The quantitative determination of
their geometrical parameters and defect depth is
the main objective for the practical problems like:

1. locating and quantifying voids and honeycombing


in concrete
2. locating delaminations of plaster at concrete and
masonry
3. locating delaminations and voids behind tiles on
concrete embedded in mortar
4. assessment of bonding of carbon fibre reinforced
laminates glued on concrete
5. identifying poorly grouted ducts

CONCLUSION
The use of passive thermography is limited
since it cannot be done when there is
inclement weather conditions, basically it
needs bright sun light. Hence Active
thermography is the best method that can be
used for detection of defects in structures.
The purpose of this paper was to present
new active
techniques of infrared thermography that
could be
used for detection of near-surface
inhomogeneities and
common subsurface
defects in typical structural elements.

THANK YOU