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Advanced Thermography (Open access, potential software sales) 

Pulsed, or transient, thermography is well established and is the most widely used form of thermographic NDE. This technique uses flash lamps to inject a pulse of heat into the inspection surface and images of the subsequent cooling of the surface are collected by an infrared (IR) camera. The method can inspect large areas quickly but is mainly used to detect area defects such as delaminations in composites and is not well suited for detecting defects such as surface cracks that develop predominantly perpendicular to the surface.

RCNDE research at Bath (with input from several other university teams) has included systematic investigation of a number of different methods of injecting heat into component surfaces with the objective of detecting crack-like defects. The work has provided evaluation of practical implementations and development of data processing approaches. All of the methods have strengths and limitations and when used appropriately offer surface crack detection performance comparable with conventional NDE but with the benefits of rapid non-contact inspection.  The team have also  produced an Advisory & Guidance software package to evaluate the applicability of conventional thermography in any given application based on a new analytical approach.

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics laser spot heat sources

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics laser spot heat sources

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics eddy current induction

Thermographic images of different cracks using thermosonics eddy current induction